Listen to your farmer!
Last week at the Marché du Chatelin, as I was buying zucchini and spring onions for a soup, the wonderful woman behind the vegetable counter, suggested I buy some watercress to go with it.
She told me she just made this soup with her grand-daughter and the watercress enhanced the zucchini adding the right touch of bitterness. “She is only 7 so whenever I cooks with her”, she went on, “I have her add the ingredients one by one into the large stockpot and she loves it! Soup is her favorite food you know”. She sits on the counter next to the stove under the vigilant eye of Grandma.
I think of the wonderful warm memories this little girl will have as a woman. How when she will cook in her own kitchen, the scent of grandma’s kitchen will comfort her. And just like that, I am sold! “Sure give me a bunch of watercress, pourquoi pas!”
Zucchini soup is however, MY speciality… clean, light and wonderfully sweet, with a little aromatic note that, depending on my mood, goes from dill to basil to cilantro or mint. But I try to keep an open mind, why not add watercress instead of a herb.
What a revelation! Spring on my plate.
Watercress is bitter, spicy and fresh tasting. Adding it raw to the my warm soup gave me a great deep green color and the flavor was almost like “Pop Rock Candy“! (Remember those little 80’s candies that exploded in your mouth)?
So here it is:
3 large zucchini
1 bunch of Spring onions or scallions
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 bunch of watercress
water and salt
Chop the spring onions and add them to your pot with olive oil and slowly cook until soft and translucent.
Peel the zucchini and slice. Add to the onions and cook another 2 minutes. Cover with boiling water, add salt cover and cook for 5 minutes on med-high heat. Let it cool about 15-20 minutes before putting into the blender (hot liquids will explode in the blender).
Add the soup and the watercress to the blender and blend until you can no longer see bits of the watercress.
The result is a velvety bright green perfect spring soup to be served warm or hot.
Monday, at Van Meenen Square I found the first fresh peas (in a pod). For lunch today, I served the zucchini soup chilled with the fresh peas* with fresh mint, olive oil and freshly grounded black pepper. The peas add a little crunch. Perfect for a sunny lunch.
*quickly blanch the peas in boiling salted water, about 3 min. than drop in iced water to stop the cooking and preserve the color
À la prochaine!