Blanching and plunging the watercress into ice cold water gives this soup its vibrant colour. Don’t boil the soup when heating it or the colour will become dulled and don’t worry that the fish won’t be cooked-it will. For a less filling soup leave out the salmon-it is just as good plain.
- 4 x 85g bags watercress
- 100ml milk
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 3 leeks, washed, trimmed and cut into 1cm thick rounds
- 520g potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 900ml vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoons crème fraiche plus extra for serving
- 4 skinless salmon fillets, about 450g
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the watercress and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into ice cold water. Leave for 5 minutes then drain well. Place the watercress and milk in a liquidiser and blend to a smooth purée. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently sauté the leeks for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the potatoes and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Cool slightly then liquidize. Pour back into the saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir in the crème fraiche and watercress purée. Taste and season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Cut the salmon into 2cm cubes and stir into the velouté. Leave the salmon to poach gently for 5 minutes before spooning into bowls. Top each with a spoonful of crème fraiche and serve with crusty bread.