Cream of watercress soup

30g butter
2 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
3 shallots, roughly chopped
3 tbsp flour
500ml stock
big bunch watercress, trimmed and chopped

My mother made a version of this soup with leek and potato as the base when I was growing up. This version is what I whip up whenever I have the craving. Using flour and butter to make a roux, this soup is silky and smooth even if you don't add cream.

Use a good stock for this recipe, either chicken or vegetable is fine.

And it freezes very well.

  1. Melt the butter and toss in bacon and shallots. Allow to sweat for a while but do not brown.
  2. Scatter flour over mixture and stir till you get a bit of a yellow mess. Keep stirring for about 2 minutes on low heat.
  3. Add stock to the mixture bit by bit, stirring to incorporate into roux. You should get a cloudy soup. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the watercress and bring back to boil. Take your soup off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Dump all into liquidizer and blitz till you don't really see anymore veggie bits.
  6. Just before you're ready to serve, reheat gently and check seasoning. Top with a bit of chopped bacon, or if you've been good, a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4.