To ensure you retain the wonderful vibrant green colour in this watercress soup recipe it’s essential to chill the soup immediately, as soon as it is cooked. So do make sure you have a bowl of iced water and a sieve at the ready.
I also recommend pre-poaching the eggs and setting them aside in iced water. Then you simply need to reheat them for two minutes in simmering water before serving.
– 300g watercress, put a few small sprigs in cold water in the fridge to serve
– 40g unsalted butter
– 1 mashing potato, very thinly sliced
– 750ml hot vegetable or chicken Stock
– 200ml milk
– 1/4 tsp English mustard
– Olive oil, to serve
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 20g skin-on whole almonds
– 1 thick slice of day-old bread
– 20g grated Parmesan cheese
–2 tsp wholegrain mustard
– 15g butter
Soft Poached Eggs
– 4 eggs
– 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1. Pick all the leaves from the watercress stalks, chop the stalks into small pieces and roughly chop the leaves.
2. Fill a bowl with ice and water and set another bowl on top – this will help to cool the soup quickly. Heat the butter in a large saucepan.
3. Add the potato and gently cook until softened but not coloured. Add a few twists of black pepper, salt and 375ml of stock and bring to the boil.
4. Drop in the watercress stalks, return to the boil and cook for 1 minute.
5. Pour in the remaining stock, bring to the boil, then add the watercress leaves. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Blitz in a blender or using a stick blender until smooth and pass through a sieve into the bowl inside the iced water bowl.
7. Stir in the milk and mustard, then season. Whisk to mix and chill the soup quicker. When cool, cover and keep in the fridge.
8. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
9. Pulse the mustard crumb ingredients in a food processor to a coarse crumb, then spread in a thin layer on the baking sheet.
10. Bake for 12–15 minutes, turning halfway, until deep golden and crunchy. Leave to cool.
11. To poach the eggs, boil a large saucepan of water with a good pinch of salt.
12. Crack the eggs into four bowls and add a few drops of vinegar to each.
13. Whisk the boiling water so it swirls in a whirlpool and turn the heat to medium-low – a gentle simmer – then slide in the eggs.
14. Poach for 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and place in iced water.
15. To reheat, place in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Heat the soup, then ladle into shallow bowls and sit the eggs on top.
16. Garnish with the reserved watercress sprigs and spoon over the mustard crumb. Finish with a sprinkling of salt, a twist of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
Marcus Wareing is one of the most respected and acclaimed chefs in Britain today. Owning three restaurants, two being two Michelin-starred Marcus has a long list of awards, including Restaurateur of the Year and Young Chef of the Year. Marcus is also a judge on of MasterChef: The Professionals, where he can showcase his tips and tricks to contestants and viewers. Marcus at Home focuses on great flavours and his recipes will become favorites in you home. It contains food you can make in a rush or when you want to create a showstopping meal.