Katie QuinnComment

Mint + Watercress Soup with Garden Peas + Pecans, Sour Cream + Proscuitto

Katie QuinnComment
Mint + Watercress Soup with Garden Peas + Pecans, Sour Cream + Proscuitto
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This is a quick and easy recipe I came up with when 2 weeks ago I have a lot of left oven ingredients from a photo shoot. I am trying going forward to devise recipes for WKA using ingredients which I find I have a lot of after a shoot of my own, or on other commercial shoots where I am asked if I want to take extra home with me. On this particular occasion I was left with a load of watercress and mint so I pondered if it would make for a decent soup... I tried it out with a base of potato and onion, and added baby peas and pecans. I also added a little green chilli to provide a bit of kick, however I add this right at the end as I felt it would be better to avoid putting it in at the start or it might become over powering ~ especially with a subtle flavour such as watercress.

I served the soup recently at a dinner for my in-laws and it was received really well, I personally loved it. It's got great texture and is very flavoursome. I decided to add some toasted Proscuitto san Danielle ~ my take on pea and ham, and a final drizzle of lemon flavoured olive oil and a dollop of sour cream finished the soup off. If you like you could also present the soup served with some sourdough bread cut super, super finely and toasted in the oven for a few minutes drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil.

The soup only take 30 mins to prepare from start to finish but it keeps well. If you want to serve it for a dinner party you can make it the night before and keep it in the pot, covered with foil overnight. Then return it to the cooker to warm over low heat for 10-15 mins before serving. You could also serve this soup cold if you like on a hot summer's day.

INGREDIENTS /

1 small brown onion, peeled + roughly chopped
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled + cut into even -sized small cubes
500ml free-range chicken stock (if you want you can use veg. instead)
1 litre cold water
Large handful watercress ~ excess thick stems removed
Leaves from 5 or 6 mint stalks (small handful)
1 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 large, long green chilli, deseeded
1/2 cup pecans
6 slices Proscuitto san Danielle (use reg. Proscuitto if you like)
Sour cream to serve
Sour dough bread, cut thinly + toasted (optional)
Salt + freshly ground black pepper
Lemon infused olive oil

METHOD /

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot and sauté onions over medium heat for 3 - 4 minutes before adding the cubed potato. Continue to cook for a minute or two more, stirring often. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer over low-medium heat for 15 minutes or until the potato has softened (test a cube with a small knife).

Add the watercress leaves, mint and peas and simmer with the potato and onion for a further 10-12 minutes then transfer the soup to a blender, and whizz until smooth.

Note: When blending hot soup the heat and pressure can often cause the lid to fly off - even if you have a towel and hand on the lid. Leave the soup to cool a tad if you prefer ~ I have had many a explosion in the kitchen with soups and blenders and generally it's followed by a lot of loud expletives being yelled about immediately after the event... Peas and mint all over your kitchen work top and splash-back, isn't the most appealing sight... So take care when blending.

Once blended ass the pecans and green chilli to the soup and blend again for a minute or two.

Lie slices of Proscuitto on a non-stick baking tray or one lined with baking parchment, bake in a preheated oven (@ 180˚C/350˚F) for 15 - 20 minutes or until crisp. Break into shards and serve with the soup alongside a drizzle of lemon infused olive oil and a teaspoon of sour cream.

Makes enough to serve 6-8 guests. I like to serve it as smaller portions ~ aka about 250ml or 1 cup per guest.