sausalito springs watercress
Watercress from Sausalito Springs

When you see a farmer or producer singlemindedly focused on one thing, almost always, that one thing turns out to be truly exceptional.

This is exactly the case of Sausalito Springs, a small family farm located in Sonoma County which has been growing high-quality organic watercress since 1988. Grown in fresh well water, their watercress is harvested tops only, triple washed, hydrocooled, and packed so that the sprigs continue to grow in the packaging.

I got my hands on a bag of these gorgeous greens and it looked so fresh I wanted to roll around and frolic in fields of it.

Eaten raw as a salad or in a sandwich, watercress has a surprisingly spicy bite to it. Blanched or sauteed, the spice mellows out a bit, but it still retains its fresh, clean flavor.

Since I had a big bag to play with, I decided to make a simple pureed soup that would allow the taste of the watercress to really shine.

watercress soup
Taking an immersion hand blender to my watercress soup

Borrowing the presentation from my dining-out experiences, I opted to serve the soup in double shot glasses as a fun starter. Served warm, this is a soothing and rich teaser. Served chilled, it’s cool, refreshing, and just sings spring.

watercress soup shots
Watercress Soup Shots

Watercress Soup Shots

Serves: 6-8

1 lb. watercress, cleaned
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, thoroughly washed and julienned
8 cups (64 oz.) chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
Whole milk plain yogurt for garnishing
Salt to taste

1. In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the diced potatoes; cook until softened, about 20 minutes.

2. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onions and leeks, and sautee until softened and translucent. Season with a pinch of salt.

3. In a separate pot of boiling salted water, blanch the watercress for 30 seconds. Shock it in an ice bath to stop the cooking, drain, roughly chop it into small pieces, and set aside.

4. Add the onions, leeks, and watercress to the large pot of chicken stock. Simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.

5. Using an immersion blender, or working in batches with a standing blender, puree the soup until smooth. Mix in the cream, and season with salt to taste.

6. This soup can be served hot or chilled. Before serving, garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Watercress Soup Shots 5 May,2009Stephanie Hua

  • It took me a long time to come around to watercress, and recognize that it’s such a great green. I think that I always associated it with 1970’s crustless tea sandwiches. But now, I can’t get enough of it! I’ll have to check out Sausalito Springs, thanks!

  • haha, right on, Jen. that infamous watercress tea sandwich. def check out Sausalito Springs! love that peppery bite to these greens.

  • I love taking them whole, giving them a splash of lemon juice, and a large dollop of Sour cream.

    This and and a large piece of rustic sourdough is all you need…..

  • Jack’s Grandson: mmm that sounds so fresh and delicious!


Stephanie Hua

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well.

Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine.

Stephanie’s writing and photography have been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.

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