easy pho bowl noodles and watercress soup

Veggie Winter Wonders: Soup-er Watercress Soups

7 mins

Quick and easy to make, these tasty bowls of plant-based goodness are great for all the family

Packed with goodness – it contains more than 50 vital vitamins and minerals – and beyond tasty, watercress and soup go together like mac and cheese. Once tried, most of us can’t get enough of the peppery taste of this delicious watercress soup which contains one most nutrient-dense veg around. 

In fact, gramme for gramme, this leafy powerhouse, which is grown in flowing spring water, contains more calcium than milk, more Vitamin C than an orange, more folate than a banana and more Vitamin E than broccoli.  

But it is also rich in iron – containing nearly twice as much as spinach – and in Vitamin A, and, because of this and the high levels of Vitamin C and A it possesses, this iron is more easily absorbed than most other plant-based irons, making watercress an essential addition to any vegetarian or vegan diet (we’ve included an incredible vegan watercress soup recipe here, too).

But whatever diet you follow, watercress soup is a quick, easy but delicious dish for lunch, dinner or supper for all the family. Enjoy! 

Easy Pho Bowl 

easy pop bowl watercress soup

Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 10 mins 

  • 200g Rice noodles 
  • vegetable stock cube 
  • 60g mushrooms, sliced 
  • Spring Onions, sliced 
  • Thumb size piece of ginger, thinly sliced 
  • red chilli, sliced 
  • ½ savoy cabbage, chopped 
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 50g watercress, chopped 

In a heatproof bowl, add boiling water to your noodles to cook them through before preparing your stock cube with 500ml boiling water. 

In a wok or similar, over a medium heat fry off the mushrooms, onion and ginger until softened.

Add the chilli and cabbage and allow to wilt before adding your stock to the pan. Then add the soy sauce, cooked noodles and watercress.

Serve your watercress soup in a bowl – you can add extra fresh chillies or herbs if you fancy!

Watercress, Pea & Parsley Soup

watercress soup with pea and parsley

Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 20 mins 

  • 1 large potato, chopped small approx. 150g 
  • 80g peas
  • 60g watercress
  • 20g parsley, chopped, plus extra for serving
  • Crème Fraiche, for drizzling

In a pot, boil the potato until soft before adding the peas. When the peas are nearly cooked through, add the watercress, and allow to wilt for 30-60 seconds. Strain the mixture, retaining the cooking liquid. 

Add the parsley to the mixture and, using a hand blender, blend everything together. Thin to the desired consistency with the retained cooking liquid and season to taste.  Serve with croutons or crusty bread and drizzle with crème fraiche. 

Watercress Soup with an Egg

watercress soup with poached egg

Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 20 mins 

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Olive or vegetable oil, drizzle
  • 1 large potato, chopped small approx. 150g
  • 60g watercress
  • 30g spinach
  • 50ml crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 eggs

In a pan, gently soften the shallot over a medium heat in a little oil before setting aside. 

In a pot of boiling water, boil the chopped potato until soft. Add the watercress and spinach at the last moment, and allow to cook for no more than a minute. Strain the mixture but reserve the cooking liquid. 

Add the shallot to the potato mixture and, using a hand blender, blitz everything together. Add the reserved cooking liquid a little at a time to thin it out to your desired texture. 

Stir though the crème fraiche and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

To serve, poach 2 eggs for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, until the whites are cooked but the yolk is runny. Serve the watercress soup into bowls and place an egg on the top.  

Vegan Watercress, Carrot & Turmeric Soup 

watercress, carrot and turmeric soup

Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 20 mins

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp grated fresh turmeric (or use 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric)
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 1 x 85g watercress

To serve (optional)

  • Small handful pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 50ml dairy free yoghurt alternative 
  • 4 pitta breads, toasted

Fry the onions and chopped carrots in the oil in a large pan over a medium heat with a pinch of salt until onions are slightly coloured and soft and the carrots have begun to cook on the outside.  Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and fry for a further 1-2 minutes.

Pour in the hot stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once the liquid is boiling, turn down the heat to low, ensuring that the soup continues to simmer, and cover with a lid. Leave to cook for around 20 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and cooked through.  

Once the vegetables are cooked through, add in the watercress and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove the soup from the heat and use a ladle or small jug to tip it into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend thoroughly. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender. Be careful not to over fill.

Pour the blended soup back into the sauce pan. Taste and add more salt and black pepper to taste. Finally, serve and garnish with the pumpkin seeds and yoghurt along with some toasted pitta breads.  

Watercress Mulligatawny Soup 

watercress and mulligatawny soup

Serves: 4 Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 1hr 5 mins

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 5cm piece of root ginger
  • 1 tbsp medium curry paste
  • 225g split yellow peas, soaked overnight in water and drained
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 100g bag of watercress

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and apple for 4 minutes until they’re soft.  

Add the ginger, curry paste and peas and stir together well.

Add the stock and bring the soup to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for an hour until the peas are tender. Pour the watercress soup into a food processor, add the watercress and blend until the soup is smooth.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Spiced Squash and Watercress Soup

watercress and spiced squash soup

Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 20 mins 

  • tbsp olive oil
  • onion chopped
  • 900g butternut squash, wash, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 1 (100g) pack watercress, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp crème fraiche

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and sauté for 2 mins. Add the squash, stir well then cover with a lid. Cook for 2 mins.

Stir in the chilli and stock, then bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15mins or until the butternut squash is tender.

Transfer to a blender and whizz until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and add the watercress and crème fraicheSeason to taste. Gently reheat before serving. 

Watercress Spiced Tomato and Chickpea Soup

watercress and spiced tomato soup

Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 15 mins 

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed flaked chilli
  • 2 (397g) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (400g) can chickpeas, drained then a few reserved for garnish
  • 750ml/11/4pt vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 (100g) bag watercress
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and sauté for 4 mins until soft. Stir in the garlic and chilli and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, chick peas, stock and puree, stir well and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 mins.

Transfer to a food processor, add the watercress, then blend until just smooth. Return the watercress soup to the pan, add the lemon juice, then season to taste. Gently reheat then serve in bowls. Decorate with the reserved chickpeas and more watercress if liked.


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