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.