Cauliflower and Watercress Soup

From Maggie Kast

Serves 6-8

[Ed: Says Maggie, “This is really a compromise between the classical (French) Potage de la Fontaine Dureau, transmitted by Julia Child, and the vegetable puree soups developed by Cook’s Illustrated. For a large quantity, or if you must hold it, puree all the watercress separately with a cup of cold soup and add to the hot at the last minute, to preserve the color.”]


1 head cauliflower, 1 ½-2 lbs.
1 cup chopped onion, leek or a combination
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
1 cup whole milk or more
¼ cup heavy cream
1 bunch watercress, washed, stems discarded, roughly chopped.
salt and pepper to taste


Break cauliflower into florets and peel central stem, keeping any tender leaves. Melt butter and sweat onion on low flame until soft. Add flour and stir a few minutes until it starts to stick. Add 2 cups water and cook, stirring until it thickens and comes to a boil. Simmer a few minutes. Add cauliflower (not leaves), optional coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 more cups water and cook 20-25 minutes, until cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork. Add leaves and watercress and cook just until greens turn bright. Puree and add milk, using more if needed to obtain desires consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cream and serve.


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