Tag Archive | New potatoes

How To Grow Watercress And A Watercress, Leek & Potato Soup

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Before I start today, I thought I would show you the hidden treasure I dug up yesterday:

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These potatoes are a second early variety that I grow every year called ‘Marfona’.  As the potato plants were flowering I thought I would have a root around and see what I could find.

They tasted absolutely wonderful.  I made a homemade lasagne to go with the potatoes and served it with a homegrown salad (except for the cucmber as mine aren’t ready yet).

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Afterwards we had freshly picked home grown strawberries served with natural yoghurt…what bliss!

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Today I thought I would talk about Watercress.

I always thought that you needed running water to grow watercress, until my old allotment neighbour showed me how he always grew it in a great big black pot that he had on his plot.

Sadly, my neighbour gave up his plot up in December 2011 and so I decided to take the plot on myself.   I inherited the old black pot and I also tried to grow watercress in it and it worked really well.   All I did was to replace the top inch of compost with new compost, sprinkle the seeds over it and cover them with a small amount of compost.  I just made sure the compost didn’t dry out and this was the result:

My Watercress 2012

My Watercress 2012

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When my watercress began to flower, I left it to set seed and I was surprised to get a second growth of useable watercress a few weeks later.

This year I sowed the seeds in the same way, but as our Spring was cold, I placed a pane of glass over it to help with the seed germination and it has grown well again.  I actually only sowed half the big barrel as this really is enough for us.

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Watercress is fabulous as it has more than fifteen essential vitamins and minerals.  Apparently, it contains more vitamin C (gram for gram) than oranges, more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach.

Another wonderful thing is that it only contains 11 calories per 100g of raw watercress.

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I noticed on Friday that my Watercress is starting to go to seed (even though I have been adding loads of it to our salads), so I needed to use it up fairly soon.  Last year I made a Watercress and Potato soup, but one of my daughters didn’t like it as she said it was too ‘silky’ (whatever that means).  So over the weekend, I made a different soup with less watercress and this time I used leeks from my freezer….I’m pleased to say, she loved it:

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Watercress, Leek and Potato Soup Recipe:

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100g Watercress

450g Leeks

425g Potatoes (weight after peeling)

1 pint of vegetable stock

½ pint of milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to season

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Slice the leeks and chop the potatoes into small pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and then fry the leeks over a low heat until they are soft.

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Add the potato and watercress and ‘sweat’ for approximately five minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pan.

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Add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper to your taste.

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Simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes, until the potato is soft.

Heat the milk until it is starting to boil.

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While the milk is boiling, puree the soup with a hand blender or a liquidiser.

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Add the milk to the pan of soup and bring the soup back to the boil, stirring continuously.

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Serve the soup with a swirl of natural yoghurt.

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Enjoy!

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I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.

I will be back on Friday at approximately 4pm.

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