This was SUPPOSED to be a cream of watercress soup. And in theory, I'm sure this magic soup would be wonderful. Grrrr. Of course, I visited two different stores and couldn't find any watercress (very odd, considering I've seen it many times before at these very same stores). I got fed up and ended up buying mâche, which totally is NOT the same thing (mâche is also known as lamb's lettuce and is quite mild), but it ended up being yummy anyway. More of a green-tinged potato-leek soup than anything else. Whatever.
I changed this up a bit from the epicurious.com original.
Cream of 'Watercress' Soup with Seared Scallops
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
6 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 41/2 cups)
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 bunches watercress, trimmed, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups) - apparently, any green will work
2 T dijon mustard
1 cup light cream
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 T butter, 2 cloves garlic
30 sea scallops
Watercress sprigs (for garnish)
1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and potatoes; sauté until leeks are tender, about 4 minutes.
This pic has a slightly ridiculous use of narrow depth of field. Meh.
2. Add chicken broth. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chopped watercress. Cover; let stand until watercress wilts, about 5 minutes.
3. Use immersion blender to purée soup in pot. Thin soup with light cream and dijon mustard to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate.) Stir soup over low heat just until heated through (do not boil).
4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter with oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops to skillet and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Add garlic and butter to pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. I skewered my scallops and balanced a skewer on top of each bowl.
5. Ladle soup into bowls. Place scallops atop soup in each bowl. Garnish with watercress sprigs and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
This recipe garnered groans of appreciation from the grown-ups and shrieks of outrage from the little one when she had to wait more than a couple of seconds for the next spoonful! (I take this as a compliment. :) ). A yummy, mild soup. Good for picky people and would make a nice light meal along with salad.
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