Deep breath… It’s 2014. A brand new start, an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and our lives. The chance to live a little better, to make better choices wherever we can. We at Timothy & Clover are rearing to go, ready to continue our search for the best local and ethical produce we can find. I know that after the excesses of the silly season it is easy to feel a little sluggish and perhaps lacking in motivation. It was delicious having so many excuses to eat and drink lavishly, but all good things must come to an end. Thankfully! For me, a gentle cleanse is almost essential to start-off the year. I feel a very real need to introduce simplicity and discipline into my life, starting with diet. So I’ll share some cleansing recipes with you if you too feel the need to clean up. This is a wonderful soup, nourishing and cleansing and also a great way to use watercress. Hippocrates fed his patients watercress daily, believing that it cleansed the blood. Whether you agree with the ancients, the fact remains that watercress is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin c and more calcium than in your average glass of milk. It is well worth including and increasing in your diet.
400g Watercress washed and chopped
1 Potato peeled and chopped
1 Onion finely chopped
Garlic (only a little) chopped
200ml Stock best quality of your choice
Salt & pepper
Crème fraiche (optional)
Melt the butter, sweat the onions gently until tender, add the potato and garlic and sauté for a few minutes more. Add stock and simmer until potatoes are properly tender. I like to use vegetable stock or chicken stock for this, just be sure to keep the flavours subtle. You want the cress to show off here not a herby stock. Now turn up the heat, tumble in the verdant watercress and boil for 2-3mins. It only needs a little cooking to keep the watercress beautifully green and packed with all its nutrients. Turn off the heat, add the cold water and puree until silky smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning – this soup is delicate so be light-handed. It is delicious with a dollop of crème fraiche and a few watercress leaves for a decorative flourish. Serve this hot in crisp white bowls or glass if you prefer; it should be fresh and clean looking. If you want to be a little stricter, leave out the potato and crème fraiche – up to you. As long as it is clean and tasty you can feel virtuous with every mouthful. Enjoy!