Watercress soup

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From Martha Bayne

Four to six servings

[Courtesy of Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette, Broadway Books, 1998, via my father.]

4 TBS butter, margarine or oil of choice
4 Leeks, chopped
1 bunch fresh watercress, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups water, or stock of choice
1 bouillion cube if water used instead of stock
1 cup milk (for richer soup use 1 cup cream instead)
salt and pepper to taste
I egg yolk, beaten (optional)
6 TBS crème fraiche, as garnish
chopped chervil, as garnish

  1. Melt the butter or oil in a large soup pot. Add leeks and watercress and sauté gently for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes and continue sautéing for I minute more, stirring frequently. Add water or stock and bouillion as necessary. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  3. Blend soup in a blender and return to pot. Add Milk and simmer for another ten minutes. If using it, add egg yolk and mix thoroughly.
  4. Serve in well heated bowls. Place one tsp of crème fraiche in the center of each and sprinkle chopped chervil around it.

[Says my father: “Why it says 6 tablespoons of crème fraiche, and then calls for one teaspoon per bowl is beyond me. Especially when the recipe is for 6 bowls.”]

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