Watercress Bisque 4.000

Julia Ewan - The Washington Post

May 14, 2008

This lovely, bright-green soup can be served warm or chilled, either as a main course or in small cups as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre. It's best consumed the same day it is made.

Serve with crackers and cheese.

Servings: 4 - 5

Yield: Makes 5 3/4 cups

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 1 quart packed watercress, washed and coarsely chopped, tougher stems discarded (from 1 basketball-size bunch)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (may substitute 1 cup sour cream or 3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper


Melt the butter in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring once or twice, for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Sprinkle the flour over the onion; use a whisk or wooden spoon to form a roux. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring; do not let the roux become brown (reduce the heat, if necessary).

Gradually add the broth, stirring to incorporate it into the roux, and then all but 1 handful of the watercress; cook for 1 minute, stirring to submerge the watercress. Add the cream and increase the heat to medium-high; when the mixture just comes to a boil, add the remaining watercress and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Transfer to a blender or use a stick immersion blender to puree as desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or transfer to a container, cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until chilled.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Foraging Gourmet," by foraging expert and author Katie Letcher Lyle of Lexington, Va. (Lyons & Burford, 1997).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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