Delicious Green Soup

Sunday raid

Sundays everywhere tend to be quiet but here in Médoc, especially in winter, they are extra quiet. All the stores are closed, there are no markets after lunch, there is nothing. Of course we always have good food around the house so I know we won’t starve, that would take weeks, but while we usually plan our Friday and Saturday meals, Sunday is a wild card – I like to see what happens, challenge myself to cook with what we have. And I must admit we probably always have more food than most people, even on Sundays. It’s an exercise in flavors rather than survival. Sometime after breakfast this morning (which was avocado and smoked salmon with flax-seed and a good cup of tea) I ventured into the “boucherie” (named after the old butcher’s table) that serves as our pantry. The boucherie is always cool but in February it’s very cold and perfect for vegetables who want to stay young. It’s also a bit of an Aladdin’s cave for me, I don’t go in there everyday and some of the stuff has been brought in by my husband without my knowledge. This morning I was delighted to find a fresh bundle of watercress, a little bit of chervil and some Jerusalem artichokes amongst all the regulars, such as celery, carrots and onions.

The first weeks of the year have been calm and replenishing, a little too wet perhaps for my taste and my roof but a good if uneventful start to the year. It’s always healthy to take a step back once in a while, spend time with your loved ones, catch up on sleep. And to think.

I’ve also been thinking more about being and eating healthy than usual and while I think we generally eat very well it’s always good to step up your game. We all know the rules, a little less baguette, a little more vegetables, take it easy on the meat and pasta, again a little more vegetables. A little less wine a little more water.

Little tweaks to get ready for summer, small steps to look and feel better. I don’t believe in extremes, but I do believe in extremely good food.

We are still planning to launch our new website this Spring but I do miss you all so I’ve decided to post random recipes that feel appropriate or inspiring – I’ll try to do one a week until the new site is up and running. So that we can all keep in touch.

In other news we had so many bookings and so many requests for the Summer Abundance workshop in June that we decided to add a second Summer abundance workshop the following week – June 27th to June 29th. We are just starting to take bookings but it’s already filling up so if you’re interested please don’t hesitate to write.

Did you that watercress has more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and boosts your complexion? This is a must to make this cold season, so simple and delicious. I loved slicing vegetables with a mandoline, it makes everything easier and cook faster. Adding the Jerusalem artichokes chips mixed with the crispy chervil makes this soup so luxurious, and I love the peppery taste the watercress gives. I’ve added extra spices like turmeric, cloves and ginger to give that boost which we all need this winter.

Watercress soup with Jerusalem artichokes and chervil chips

2 bunches of watercress (chopped, including stems)
1 onion, sliced finely
2 small russet potatoes, sliced finely with a mandoline
475 ml/ 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock,
150 ml cream/ crème entière (optional)
3 cloves, crushed
A small cube-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
A teaspoon of turmeric
Salt & a dash of black pepper

For the chips:
300 ml vegetable oil for frying
2 Jerusalem artichokes, sliced as finely as possible with a mandoline
A small bunch of fresh chervil
A sprinkle of fleur de sel

Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Slice (with a mandoline) the potatoes and onion, and drop them into the stock. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, lower the heat then add the watercress, ginger, turmeric, cloves, salt and pepper. Cover again and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until all the ingredients are tender.

Purée the soup in the blender and add the cream.

Heat the oil in a heavy medium-size pot until hot and ready, make a test by throwing in a slice of Jerusalem artichoke and if it sizzles, the temperature is ready for frying. Add Jerusalem artichoke slices to the oil in small handfuls, turning gently with a wire skimmer, until pale gold and crisp, about 45 seconds to a good minute. Transfer chips to paper towels to drain, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat the same with the chervil, for less than 15 seconds or so. Add them to the plate of chips so they get to mix, this will create a great flavour.

Reheat the soup on a low heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Scatter the chips and chervil on top and serve immediately.

85 thoughts on “Delicious Green Soup

  1. Dear mimi, thank you for this lovely recipe. Vegetables and vitamins, all i need to get through the first exhausting months of my second daughter Louise.

    I cant wait to read your weekly posts and then discover your new website.



  2. This looks like a fabulous recipe for a healthy winter soup. I’m fighting off the remains of flu, so I can only imagine this will help! You mention that the cream is optional and I’d rather leave this out, do you think it will affect the taste/consistency of the soup significantly if I don’t use it?

  3. It has been an exceptionally cold winter so most nights we end up sipping soup by the fire. My recipes are getting tired so a new one is most appreciated! Thanks, Mimi.

  4. This looks divine! I have yet to cook with watercress but you’ve encouraged me to do so with this gorgeous recipe. So good to hear we’ll be seeing more posts from you 🙂

  5. Hi Mimi,
    It is always wonderful to read your posts we really miss them so much
    I am in love with the ingredients of this recipe Watercress soup with Jerusalem artichokes and chervil chips. On my list for this week. Thank you xx
    I didn’t receive yet any reply on the spring vegetarian workshop kindly advise
    Best wishes and much love from Kuwait xx

  6. It looks delicious! It’s always a fun challenge to make a meal out of stray vegetables at the end of the week.

    Mimi, does your family celebrate Chinese New Year in France? Are there any New Year dishes that you miss from your childhood?

    1. Hello! Yes, I always celebrate Chinese New Year! I love to make a little Chinese feast with all my favourite dishes, like turnip cakes, dumplings, red bean pancakes… oh and the list can go on and on. What I miss most from my childhood is the roast goose on rice noodles from Yung Kee, the broth is so amazing! Wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year, it’s happening soon! x

  7. Funny this should come today! I am fully immersed today into your ‘ French Country Cooking’ and I should add, for the second time. I’m going to try the Far Breton cake in the morning as I have the prunes and the rum! This sound sounds yummy. Cold miserable day here in Northern VA.

    1. Hello maggie! Thanks so much for your kind words, I am so happy to hear you are making one of my ‘coup de coeur’ cakes! I love the far breton , so chewy and delicious! I always add more rum than I write in the book, just saying 🙂 Mimi x

  8. Longtime reader, first time commenter! I haven’t made a green soup in AGES, and we’ve just had a pretty healthy fresh snowfall here – this sounds like the perfect thing to make this week.

  9. Thank you! I totally relate to wanting a health re-set for the new year! We cut out sugar for the month of January and I so appreciate the vegetable focus in all your recipes! Love from a “mama and cook with many children” in the USA.

  10. I was planning to buy some groceries after reading your post… now I know what we’re going to eat tonight. Thanks for the recipe. Love the pictures!

  11. What a treat on a Sunday evening to find this in my inbox. We have just had a delicious dinner with 13 people, now this soup will make a wonderful mid week lunch, just what is called for, warming and healthy as it is meant to be a very cold week. xx

  12. Delightful to see you again. Please continue your lovely posts. Looking forward to the new website and enjoying both your books.

    1. Thank you so much for all your kind words! Yes, while waiting for the new site, I am going to to my very best to share as many happy meals as possible 🙂 Have a lovely week, Mimi x

  13. OH GOODY!!!!!!!A RECIPE HERE and THERE will be BETTER THAN NOTHING!!!!!!!I NEVER DID LIKE THIS PLAN OF YOURS But I never understood how you DO what YOU do to begin with!
    I don’t think we have those ARTICHOKES here in California!I have to do some research……..They are much smaller than what we have here.I have all the ingredients already HERE except those.
    WE called OUR First Born the CARCIOFO.Which in ITALIAN means ARTICHOKE………why?Because they are as pretty as a ROSE but the thorns are in the WRONG PLACE!!!
    I will make this………….and send you a REPORT!

    1. Ciao Bella! Perhaps at a farmer’s market? They are root vegetables… you can do this with parsnips instead, it’s all delicious! Enjoy the recipe glamorous lady! Bisons, Mimi x

  14. Mimi what a lovely surprise to find a new blogpost. This soup is exactly what I need, what we need. It’s been a hard cold snowy winter in Montreal mixed with a toddler first winter at daycare. More cold and illnesses than I ever imagined! I have high hopes for this green concoction. Cassandre x

  15. Hi Mimi, The soup sounds delicious and so healthy with the watercress. Any suggestions for substituting the potatoes–I am super allergic to them?
    Have a wonderful week. Blessings.

  16. Bonjour dear Mimi,
    I’ve just read my friend La Contessa’s comment. I love the idea of a recipe here and there, maybe once a week……..we miss you too. A very nourishing soup you have prepared here. Good hearty flavours for the Winter……..will squirrel this recipe away. Mimi, Elizabeth, aka La Contessa and I are meeting up in London in September. We are so excited. Let us know if your travels are taking you to Old Blighty. Merci pour la recette Mimi xx Anita

  17. So glad to see you posting – we miss you too when ur & the lovely ambiance you provide is not around. U know I left comment on last post, looks like never posted, here’s hoping. Soup looks wonderful

    1. Hello Mimi!
      Always a treat to receive a post from you.
      Thank you for your geneosity.
      Good food is always in season.
      As found in the details of life, elegance, beauty and taste can always be found in simplicity.
      That said, we shall have Green Soup.
      once again, thank you for the gorgeous inspiration

      Be well,
      gee gee


    2. Oh dear I must have missed your last comment, sorry. I was so excited to share something I knew everyone needed! Warmth and health! Have a lovely day! Lovely to hear from you 🙂 Mimi x

  18. Anything that green would be so full of goodness it would be dangerous!💥😂 Definitely filed in my memory for when winter (and watercress) return to the Southern Hemisphere.
    Happy Days! Thank you both.

  19. This soup sounds delicious. I shall certainly try it later this week. Thank you for sharing it . Spring is just around the corner, especially for you down in the Médoc ! 😊💐

  20. My French friends all do a “soup cure” in January, to reset after the excesses of the holidays. Though most have soup for dinner–it’s called souper after all–all winter.
    Jerusalem artichoke chips are intriguing. I’m not a fan of topinambours, as they’re magically named in French, but I could see them working as chips, especially with soup.

  21. Since our move to France I have been obsessed with watercress, with home made flatbread and scrambled eggs for breakfast. We too have been hitting the vegetarian more, and aiming to grow more of our own produce in the coming year. Looking forward to your new site.

  22. Lovely recipe. I use watercress a lot to make salads and soups, I can buy them at the saturday market for only ,050€ a bunch. Never tried with these spices (turmeric, ginger and clove) so this is going to be my next try. Thank you and glad you’re back again.

  23. Bonjour Mimi, quel plaisir de vous lire de nouveau! Nouvel an, nouveaux projets et aventures – c’est parfait. Cette recette me tente beaucoup, mais je suis un peu confuse en qui concerne le cerfeuil, car dans l’image il ressemble plus au thym qu’au cerfeuil. J’aurais aussi envie de faire ces chips au micro-ondes sur un support spécial et donc sans huile. Qu’en pensez-vous? Bonne continuation …

    1. Bonjour! C’est bien du cerfeuil que j’ai utilisé pour les chips. Le thym est dans la photo car j’en ai toujours sur ma table, désolée pour la confusion! Je n’ai jamais essayé des chips au micro-ondes, ça marche bien? Bon appétit alors! Mimi x

      1. Voilà – je viens de faire les chips au micro-ondes avec ce support spécial:
        Le résultat dépend évidemment des caractéristiques de l’appareil, donc il faut faire des essais. J’ai beaucoup aimé … après quelques essais!
        La soupe est phénoménal. Une combination très réussie de goûts et de différentes consistences et en plus avec la frâicheur du cerfeuil! MERCI !!!

  24. I have been wanting to use watercress in something other than salad and We have all been under the weather most of winter, living off soups and stews. This sounds yummy to try tonight and my three boys say they are excited to try the “green” soup. Thank you for sharing!

  25. Thank you Mimi. I love watercress but haven’t found a Jerusalem Artichoke recipe that has inspired me. We do grow buckets of them however so I look forward to trying this one.

  26. Hello Mimi,

    I can’t wait to make this soup. What a beautiful deep green colour, the photos are divine. It’s summer here in Melbourne Australia, love soup anytime of the year. Will look out for watercress, Love the beautiful warming ingredients.

  27. Hi Mimi, so happy to see a post as I love the inspiration for my table and the beautiful photographs. Also delighted that you will be posting recipes more often for a while as I really miss them. xx

  28. Thank you for this tasty recipe and beautiful photos as always. Almost done with winter ! Looking forward to hear from you soon. xxx Sabrina from Brussels, Belgium

  29. making the soup tonight –
    even though the weather is only ‘California cold”.
    the ingredients sound so healthy & delicious. Encore … merci …

  30. Have missed your inspirational posts! Look forward to your new ideas. (Your photo from VOGUE hangs on my pantry door, along with “recipes to try soon.”). This soup is a most welcome idea on this cold, icy Pennsylvania morning!

  31. So nice to have you posting again, Mimi! Beautiful photos & tasty recipe, so nice to see & read. Standing in front of a frame on your wall you look very much like a modern portrait of Plantia. Beautiful. I know your plate is full so I appreciate all the more your taking time for more posts. Speaking of plates, love the treasures shot here!! 💕xx-Linny

  32. I saw watercress at the market and ran home to make this soup. Despite my blunders of memory – wrong type of potatoes, not quite enough cream – it came together into a glorious emerald swirl. Didn’t have cloves so used piment d’urfa and it was perfect. Transported to Medoc as I sat in my sunny kitchen with a bowl on my lap. Thank you.

  33. Dear Mimi,
    I’ve been following your blog with so much pleasure since 2013, and your wonderful writing and the beautiful photographs have always been a huge inspiration. Spending an hour browsing and revisiting your stories is always a pick-me-up, especially in the cold and wintry days of February. How exciting that you will be launching a new website! I hope that your original one will stay online, because it is such a treasure to be able to revisit, almost like meeting a friend on memory lane 🙂 Thank you for all that you do to add joy to the world through good food and beautiful words and images!

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