Though the weather is turning, the market isn't at it's booming point just yet but last week I did stumble onto a huge pile of wild watercress and some gorgeous scallions. With my soup binge I seem to be on around here, it seemed the most natural conclusion.
This is fresh and bright and truly tastes of Spring and the promise of all that is to come. With a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil and a dollop of creme fraiche, it becomes truly elegant. I would be proud to serve this as a starter at a fancy dinner party.
Watercress and Scallion Soup
about 4 servings
1 bundle of scallions, washed and trimmed of roots
2 TB olive oil
2 bundles watercress, thoroughly washed and any rough stems and roots trimmed
32 oz. chicken or vegetable stock
3 TB fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Finely chop the white parts of the scallions. Chop the green parts into large pieces and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the white parts of the scallions and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the green parts of the scallions and the watercress and toss in the hot oil for about 1 minute. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 4-5 minutes, letting the watercress and scallions become tender but not completely overcooked. Remove from the heat and then use a blender or immersion blender to puree the soup. If you are ok with a coarse texture you can leave as is, but if you would like a smoother, more elegant soup pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
Return the soup to the pan and heat through. Stir in the lemon juice and then taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Dish into soup bowls and garnish each with a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.