Remember Elena, my forever-lovely-and-best-bagel-maker-in-the-whole-world and flatmate, the one that doesn’t eat meat and gives as many fucks about cooking as I do about spaceships? At some point last year I kind of forced her into watching MasterChef UK: The Professionals. She did try, I’ll give her that. She lost her interest (I mean, if she ever had it) pretty fast, but I got her back on track during a skills test, the one with Marcus Wareing preparing the perfect watercress soup.
Basic stuff, I’ll say. Two more years of practice and she could nail it. 🙂
Marcus’ original recipe included some light chicken stock. Since our house policies don’t really allow that, I soon found myself getting bored while working on a veggie stock. I went for water, salt, celery, onion, parsnip, but I’m pretty sure you could get wild. Or go for the chicken stock (*wink-wink*).
So, find or buy a pan, add the stock, give it a little heat. Add a bit of cream for body. Slice two potatoes, as thin as you can. Why? Well, first of all, they’ll boil faster. Then, if they’re not boiled properly, when you’ll blend and sieve the soup it will not be as smooth as you’ll want it to be. Careful though, you don’t want to go mad with the potatoes, your star should be the watercress. When the potatoes are properly boiled add the watercress. You don’t want to cook the thing foverver, you want that lovely-watercress-green colour.
Add some vinegar to another pan with some boiling water; you’ll use the boiling water to poach the eggs and the vinegar to keep them together. Again, basic stuff, I’m not teaching you how to poach an egg. Btw, Elena can!!! poach eggs. 🙂
Drain the stock out. Blend the veggies first, Marcus says; you’ll need the puree first, then you’ll add the liquid, as much as you want, for the consistency you’ll fancy. Keep blending. Add a spoon of mustard and some butter. Stop blending. You now have a soup.
Take a bowl/plate/whatever. Put the poached egg in the middle. Add soup. Then almonds. Garnish. Eat!
P.S.: Elena could easily eat two bowls at once. 🙂