Vegetarian party food for a summer lunch need not be hard work. This easy recipe for tangy chilled watercress and orange soup will only take about half an hour to make.
Chilled summer soups are so quick to make and deliciously refreshing to serve for a lunch party. Even beginner chefs will be heaped with praise when they try this easy vegetarian recipe for watercress and orange soup with its tangy flavour. Give it a decorative swirl of natural yogurt. for that final flourish just before serving.
Watercress for a Healthy Immune System
One of the original superfoods, watercress contains high concentrates of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin A, all of which are important nutrients for a healthy immune system. Watercress is also a good source of folic acid, calcium and iron, making it an ideal ingredient for a vegetarian recipe. Iron and vitamin A are also essential for healthy skin and nails.
Watercress an Aphrodisiac?
Although related to the cabbage family, it is so much tastier. Watercress gained popularity as a soup in the 17th century in Britain. Many believed it to have aphrodisiac properties. This may or may not be true, alongside the idea that eating a good bunch of watercress is a cure for hangovers.
Now a favorite ingredient in the diets of many British people there is even a World Watercress Eating Championship which takes place annually as part of National Watercress Week in May. Leading up to the festival, amateur chefs around the country create new and unusual dishes to enter into a competition.
Healthy Vegetarian Watercress and Orange Soup
- 2 large bunches or bags of watercress, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- Olive oil for frying
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups good vegetable stock (use a stock cube if necessary)
- Juice and finely grated rind of 1 medium orange
- Freshly ground black pepper and salt
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- Half cup natural yogurt for swirling
- Roughly chop the watercress.
- In a large saucepan fry the chopped onion until soft and transparent.
- Add the watercress, cover and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until the watercress is soft.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the flour and ginger.
- Add the vegetable stock, orange juice and orange rind and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
- Add salt and pepper, cover and allow to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool and then liquidize in blender or food processor.(For a very smooth soup, strain through a sieve.)
- Chill in fridge until really cold.
- Pour into individual bowls and add a swirl of natural yogurt.