Watercress Soup with crushed Jersey Royals

March 17, 2010

A great spring soup using the best of British produce:

For the soup

50g/2oz butter
2 large banana shallots, roughly chopped
125g/4 ½oz Jersey Royal potatoes, washed, scrubbed and thinly sliced
450ml/16fl oz chicken stock (vegetarians can substitute vegetable stock)
225g/8oz watercress, roughly chopped
150ml/5fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
For the Jersey Royals
400g/14oz Jersey Royal potatoes, washed
75g/3oz butter
4 tbsp chives, finely chopped
110ml/4fl oz double cream
½ lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
watercress, to garnish


1. For the soup, heat a pan until hot, then add the butter and shallots and fry for 2-3 minutes over a low heat until softened, but not browned.
2. Add the potatoes and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 8-9 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
3. Add the watercress and continue to simmer for two minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes.
4. Pour the soup into a food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Return the soup to the pan and add the cream. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and grate in a pinch of nutmeg.
6. For the Jersey Royals, place the potatoes into a pan over a medium heat and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes, then return to the pan.
7. Add the butter and chives and roughly crush the potatoes with the back of a fork.
8. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
9. To serve, place a large spoonful of the crushed potatoes into the centre of each of four shallow soup bowls. Ladle the soup around the crushed potatoes, leaving islands of potato visible. Top each pile of crushed potatoes with a spoonful of soured cream and a few sprigs of watercress.

Example Menus