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Author Notes: I rarely cook pureed soups, but this bright green, slightly spicy soup with tender, leafy watercress is one of two (Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Bisque, which is posted here on food52) exceptions in my repertoire. This soup is delicious hot, cold or room temperature. Spinach or other greens, parsnip, leeks or fennel would be equally delicious in this soup. For a vegetarian version you can substitute oil for butter and vegetable for chicken stock. I like to serve this soup with French bread croutons with shredded Gruyere cheese toasted in the oven and then top each serving with 1 or 2 croutons. - Kukla
- • 1or 2 jalapeno peppers, roasted in a small pan until the skin is blistered
- • 4 cups chicken stock, I used 2 cups chicken stock + 2 cups whey
- • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- • 1 large onion, finely chopped
- • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- • 1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into ½ - inch pieces
- • ½ medium celery root, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
- • 4 celery root shuts or 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced, leaves reserved
- • Coarse salt to taste
- • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- • 4 cups packed watercress (about 4 bunches), washed and trimmed
- • Fresh lemon or lime juice for taste and brightness (optional)
- • Sour cream or crème fraîche for serving
- In a medium pot over medium-low heat, bring the chicken stock to simmer; make a slit in the roasted jalapeno and add to the stock; simmer 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and discard the pepper.
- Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and thyme; sauté until tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Mix in stock, potato and celery root. Cover and simmer until potato and celery root are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Add the watercress and reserved celery leaves simmer just until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using an emersion blender or a food processor or blender, puree soup in batches until desired smoothness (I like my soup to have some texture).
- If using the food processor or blender, return soup to saucepan; taste and add salt and lemon juice, if desired. (Can be prepared one day ahead. Cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate).
- To serve hot, bring soup to simmer, ladle into bowls, garnish with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche and watercress leaves (photo #1) or mix in sour cream or crème fraîche (photo # 2 ). Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Lettuce