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Sunday Breakfast & Lunch

Sunday, and rain again.  Will it ever cease? Garden bedraggled, but I was up reasonably early and laying the table for breakfast, no breakfast in bed today.

You will get really fed up with my breakfast photos, but today there is a slight variation … I suddenly had a longing for Rose’s lime or, in this case, lemon and lime marmalade.  It must be spring if I prefer this to our usual orange marmalade, regardless of the rain!  I also love ginger preserve but the branch of Waitrose we go to doesn’t stock it, so I shall have to make a special trip to a shop that I know that does stock it.

To start, a bowl of fruit (photo above) … tinned cherries and fresh raspberries, grapes and banana followed by …

Scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast (crusts removed, a nicer way to serve toast at breakfast; the black speckles are black pepper which I love on scrambled eggs) and chestnut mushrooms quartered, cooked in a little butter and then a splash of balsamic.  Thank you, Eloise, for this lovely, easy way of serving mushrooms.

And then the lemon and lime marmalade with toast and butter, plus cups of strong tea (I can’t bear insipid tea which we call ‘gnat’s wee-wee’)

While husband went to collect the Sunday paper from the local shop and then did some work of his own, and after I did a few housekeeping tasks, such as changing the bed linen and setting the washing machine to wash it, I decided to make watercress soup for our lunch.

I really think this is my very favourite soup.  And it’s so easy to make, one of the easiest of soups.  It is best made with a proper bunch of watercress, where the stalks are still attached to the leaves, rather than a bag of supermarket chopped-up watercress which is often slimy by the time you open the bag.  I’m not saying they’re all like that, only some are.  Here in the UK, if you have a branch of Waitrose in the vicinity, many sell John Hurd’s watercress and this is really the crème de la crème of watercress.  Well, it is to me.

Do have a look at the website:  www.organicwatercress.co.uk where you can download watercress recipes.

For my version of watercress soup you need only three main ingredients, plus some stock cubes and either milk, cream or crème fraiche.

The three main ingredients are watercress (obviously), a couple of potatoes, and a large onion (and four veggie stock cubes, or bouillon.)

Into a large saucepan put in a splash of rapeseed (or quality olive or sunflower) oil. I use rapeseed as it’s the healthiest of the lot (or so I’m given to believe.)

Peel and chop the onion and potatoes and add to the pan, and saute them gently for a few minutes until they have softened slightly but not browned.

Chop the watercress, including the stalks (there is no waste whatsoever) and add to the onion and potatoes in the saucepan.

Now add boiling water to cover the watercress, onion and potatoes, but take care not to add too much to start, you an always add more.  Now add the crumbled stock cubes or bouillon and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Now add a splash of milk, or cream, or a dollop of crème fraiche (I used crème fraiche today) and blend using a stick blender or liquidizer.

The soup is now ready, it mightn’t even need re-heating, especially if you serve in hot bowls.

I served it today with wholegrain bread and Normandy butter.  There should be sufficient for four good servings, but as there are only two of us here, there will be a serving for each of us tomorrow.  You can freeze this soup, but it’s best eaten fresh.

Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or cream, and a sprig of parsley (it should’ve been watercress but I forgot to reserve two or three leaves from the bunch.)  This is a delicious light lunch. If you haven’t had a substantial breakfast, as we had, you could also serve cheeses, crackers, olives, nuts, and chutneys but we simply had the soup today.

Until next time.


About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. We never get fed up of seeing your delicious breakfasts Margaret, I really do love the Roses Lime marmalade, I have not had it for a while, I think I shall be putting it on next weeks shopping list.
    Your soup sounds so delicious and full of goodness.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Marlene, for your kind words. I love all marmalades and there is such a selection these days, but Rose’s Lime or Rose’s Lemon & Lime are favourites of mine. When I heaped it on my toast this morning, husband asked me if I would like some toast with my marmalade, cheeky chap! The soup is lovely, too, full of goodness and so easy to make.

  2. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Like Marlene, I love to see your beautifully presented breakfasts. I should make more effort!
    I’ve had watercress soups in restaurants but never made it. I’ve eaten “Margaret’s pea & mint soup” for lunch for the past two days. I have picked up several nice recipes from the various blogs I follow. Isn’t it great that so much information is shared?
    It’s rained here too. Rather a dismal day but there’s a really bright patch of clear blue sky over to the west at the moment.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I love sharing information, Eloise. Perhaps I’m a teacher manqué? I never wanted to teach, but in my many articles over the years, and now in my blog, I do like to pass on anything I’ve learned which I think might be of interest to others (of course, others might know these things already, but I often assume that if some information is new to me, then it might be new to someone else.)
      The watercress soup is lovely, and so easy to make – have a go!

  3. I always enjoy the various things you post, Margaret. Whether they are pictures from your various excursions, from your garden and home, or from your meals. I don’t think any of our readers tire of your musings. Thanks for all you do. I do have to agree, from your last post, about the name of the clinic you mention – it seems names are constantly being changed. I don’t understand it either – a rose by any other name is still a rose and a clinic by any other name is still a clinic! Fancying up the name does not change it.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you so much, Jeannine, for your seal of approval of my posts! And yes, a rose by any other name … The Health & Well-Being Centre (my hyphen) used to be in premises in another part of town. When the small hospital (not an A&E hospital) was closed, the clinic moved from it’s old and outdated premises into the old hospital and was thus re-named. Our main A&E hospital is in another part of Torbay entirely.

  4. Your breakfasts inspired me to serve up my own with fruit and set a nice table when eating alone. And I shall definitely be doing your watercress soup.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I’m delighted, Ratnamurti, that I have inspired you to have some fruit at breakfast and to set the table even though you are on your own. And best of luck making watercress soup, it’s so easy and very nourishing.

  5. The watercress soup looks lovely Margaret, perfect as a lighter summer soup when we (finally) get some warmer weather, it’s apparently forecasted for later in the week.
    Am so glad that you enjoyed the balsamic twist on the mushrooms, it’s certainly one of our favourites.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, it’s lovely as a light summer soup, Elaine, and you could serve it alongside salads, cheese, cold meats, etc, too.
      Yes, balsamic with mushrooms is a revelation! Very tasty!

  6. We definitely stock our own brand ginger preserve as I saw someone buy it on Saturday. Even I, who rarely complains about the weather on the basis we can’t do anything about it, am getting fed up with the constant rain.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Oh, that’s such good news, Fiona! I shall look again. I was looking at the Wilkin & Son products and then looked at all the rest but couldn’t find any. Perhaps it was staring me in the face all the time! We had the lovely lemon & lime marmalade after our bacon & tomatoes this morning, and it was lovely, but it’s much more jelly now than the marmalade it used to be, i.e. more like jam, years ago.

  7. I’ve never tried watercress soup. It sounds like a silly question, but I don’t like watercress so would I like watercress soup? Things often taste quite different when they are cooked so I might.

    Now the scrambled eggs and mushrooms, I’d definitely like that 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      That’s a very difficult question, Alison. I would say that the flavour is mild and not peppery like watercress is. I love watercress so am biased in it is favour, but if the rest of the family like watercress you could make it and then if you didn’t care for it yourself, at least it wouldn’t all be wasted. The only way you will find out is to give it a try.

  8. I’ve never had watercress. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on any menu. Maybe it’s not an Australian thing ? No doubt there is probably someone growing it somewhere for their own family or cafe.

    My aunt used to make zucchini soup, which whilst also a simple recipe, was delicious.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Lara. No, I don’t expect watercress grows well in Australia – it is grown in water as the name indicates. We also have salad cress (which we used to call mustard & cress) which is sold in small punnets, but this is nothing like watercress which has a peppery taste, stronger when in salad or a sandwich, but less peppery when transformed into soup.

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