Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zucchini & Watercress Soup

This recipe comes courtesy of Sophie Dahl, granddaughter of famous author Roald Dahl, via Food & Wine Magazine.  I really enjoy zucchini and am always looking for new ways to enjoy veggies.  When I saw this recipe, I had to try it.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small pinch of saffron threads (about 10), crumbled
1 pound zucchini, coarsely chopped
3 cups chicken stock
8 ounces watercress, chopped*
1 tablespoon heavy cream (optional)*
Salt and freshly ground pepper*

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and saffron threads and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 7 minutes. 
Add the zucchini and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Cook over low heat until the zucchini is tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add the watercress and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion, zucchini and watercress to a blender. Add the cream and 1/2 cup of the stock and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and pour into bowls.  
Drizzle some good olive oil over the top.
I never quite know how much to buy when ingredients are given in weights (i.e. 8 ounces of watercress).  For most veggies, you can use the scales in the store to make sure you're buying the right amount.  As a measure for the watercress - a typical bag or box of lettuce is 4 or 5 oz.  

Heavy cream is not technically on the diet.  However, it doens't have any sugar.  The recipe calls for only a slight amount which adds a nice richness and creaminess to the soup.  You can weigh the pros and cons and omit if you'd like.

As I've mentioned before, my inclination is always to slightly under salt and then allow each individual to season her meal to her liking. Ruining an entire batch of soup by adding too much salt is pretty upsetting!

This dish is protein light, so in the initial Tear Down phase, eat some protein as well - perhaps a couple hard boiled eggs or a grilled chicken breast.  


  1. This soup was great the whole family loved it. The next day I made cauliflower soup basically the same way only I used sage instead of watercress. It was really good. I granished it with saute prosciutto and goat cheese. Yum Yum

  2. Oh good! It's wonderful when we can feed our family healthy stuff that they enjoy. I made a roasted cauliflower soup recently, but I haven't done a post yet. I'll have to try your method as well. Love the idea of topping it with prosciutto and goat cheese. Yummy!