Minted pea and watercress soup
With more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than a banana (weight for weight), it’s hardly surprising watercress was a favourite of Hippocrates, who called it the ‘cure of cures’. Try your hand at this fresh, feel-good dish using the super green leaf.
- Watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than a banana (weight for weight)
- It is high in iodine, which helps regulate the thyroid and metabolic rate
For the soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20g butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 600g frozen peas
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 200g watercress
- 6 sprigs of mint, leaves picked
- 3 tbsp crème fraîche
- 1⁄2-1 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
For the topping
- 2 tbsp nuts, roughly chopped (eg walnuts or hazelnuts)
- 2 tbsp mixed seeds(eg sunflower, pumpkin, poppy and sesame)
- Place a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and add the oil and butter. Once foaming, add your chopped onion, season with salt and pepper, and allow to soften without colouring, stirring occasionally. This should take about 7-10 minutes. Once translucent add the peas, stock, watercress, a pinch of salt, plenty of pepper and the mint, reserving a few small leaves for garnish. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes, until tender.
- While the soup is simmering, place a frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add the mixed nuts and seeds with a pinch of salt, and allow to toast for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally until they are beautifully golden brown and have a nutty aroma. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Once the soup has simmered, remove from the heat and use a stick blender to blitz until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and give it a final blend. Adjust the seasoning, adding the lemon juice to taste.
- When you are happy you can either return the soup to the heat and warm through or wait for it to cool, refrigerate and serve chilled. Either way, add an extra dollop of crème fraîche, a tbsp of the toasted nuts and seeds, and a few of the reserved mint leaves to serve.