Portuguese Potato and Watercress Soup
I learned to make this soup the summer I spent in Portugal. A very sweet lady who spoke no English was my teacher. In this garlicy version, the watercress leaves are added in at the end and not pureed so you get big mouthfuls of watercress.
Watercress, a member of the mustard family, has a strong peppery flavor. It pairs well with eggs and can be added to souffles and adds a snap to an egg salad sandwich. Like spinach, its volume disappear after a very short cooking time.
Here's the recipe:
1 bunch watercress
I large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp butter
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper
1/4 cup half and half
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and cook the onion gently for about 5 minutes. Add the pressed garlic and cook for one minute. Add the potatoes, water, milk, and seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer about 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender and can be crushed with the back of a spoon. Puree the soup with a handheld immersion blender. Add the half and half. Hold the watercress by the stems and dip the leaves into the hot soup for 15 seconds (the watercress will wilt almost immediately). Remove the watercress and chop off the stems. Add the watercress leaves to the soup and turn off heat. Serve immediately.