This is one of my favourite soups. It's a nourishing bowl of goodness that is easy to make. I didn't know that watercress is one of the oldest leaf vegetables consumed by humans, until I googled it. Well, we learn something new everyday!
I made this soup today for my family. The watercress at the market was beautifully fresh and crisp, and going cheap.
I went over to the poultry stall to buy a chicken for the soup. The nice uncle refused to sell me any! Instead he went behind the counter, dug into his freezer and handed me a huge bag of chicken thigh bones, gratis.
"Take these," he whispered. "The soup will taste even better!"
And he was right. Boiling soups with bones lend a milkiness to the taste. The watercress soup was rich and full-bodied. So delicious!
Finally, can anyone confirm if this is true: I understand that when cooking bitter-ish veggies, such as watercress or kow kei, we should NOT put the veggies in when the water is boiling. Instead, we should put them into the soup pot with room temperature water, and THEN let the whole thing boil. This way, the veggies will not have a bitter aftertaste when cooked. Any truth to this?
- 1 bundle fresh watercress
- 1/2 fresh chicken, or 500g bones, or 500g pork ribs
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 handful pitted red dates
- 1 handful Chinese wolfberries
- 3 large soup bowls of water (boiled till amount is reduced to about 2 large bowls)
1. Rinse watercress thoroughly.
2. In a soup pot, put all ingredients in and bring to a gradual boil over medium heat. Once the water comes to a rolling bowl, lower the flame and let the soup simmer gently. This should take about an hour or longer, if you want a more robust flavour.
3. If, like me, you are using a pressure cooker, all it takes is about 15-20mins.
4. Add salt to taste if desired. But for me, there is absolutely no need. It was so flavourful on its own.