Potage au Cresson et aux Noix

Watercress and Walnut Soup

Watercress in France is sold in huge bundles; it’s wonderfully fresh and dark green and makes a first-rate salad. But here I’ve used it to make a soup with a certain sharpness that goes well with the toasted walnuts.

Ingredients

  • 55 g(2 oz) butter
  • 55 g(2 oz) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot
  • 200 g(7 oz) watercress
  • ¾ litre( pt) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fécule de pommespotato flour
  • 150 ml(¼ pt) crème fraîche or single cream
  • salt, milled pepper
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil (optional)

Method

Melt half the butter in a pan and add the walnuts. Fry lightly to bring out their flavour and turn on to a plate.

Soften the shallot in the remaining butter. Stir in the watercress and, when it has collapsed, add the stock. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Sieve or purée the watercress and stock and return to the pan with the potato flour blended with a little water. Cook until slightly thickened. Add the walnuts and cream, and bring almost to the boil.

Season with salt, pepper and ground cinnamon to taste, and stir in the walnut oil, if available.

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