This soup is equally delicious served hot or cold. Don't overcook the watercress, or it will lose its color.
50 g (2 oz) butter
250 g (8 oz) potato, diced
250 g (8 oz) leek, chopped
3 bunches watercress, stalks removed
1 liter (1 3/4 pints) chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste, grated rind and juice of 1 lime 4 tablespoons cream watercress sprigs to garnish
1- Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the potato and leek, and cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft.
2-Meanwhile finely chop the watercress. Add the chicken stock to the pan, bring to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the watercress and simmer for 8 minutes.
3-Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
4-Return the soup to the pan. Add the lime rind and juice, check the seasoning and heat through.
5 - Transfer to individual soup plates, swirl in the cream and serve garnished with watercress.
Thai-Style Hot & Sour Soup
This soup uses typical Thai ingredients- dried lemon grass and straw mushrooms- available from larger supermarkets. Use button mushrooms, if you prefer.
15 liters (27 pints) chicken stock
2 tablespoons dried lemon grass
1 tablespoon grated lime rind salt to taste
3 tablespoons lime juice
teaspoon chili paste
x425 g (15 oz) can straw mushrooms, drained
125 g (4 oz) bean sprouts
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
250 g (8 oz) frozen prawns, defrosted
2 small red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons coriander leaves
1- Put the stock, lemon grass and lime rind in a large pan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
2-Strain the stock and return to the pan. Season with salt, then add the lime juice, chili paste and sugar. Stir well
3- Add the mushrooms, bean sprouts and spring onions. Simmer for 1 minute.
4-Add the prawns and simmer for a few seconds to heat through.
5-Serve in individual bowls, sprinkled with chili slices and coriander leaves
Last Updated: June 7th, 2011