Quick Vegan Cream of Watercress Soup
A very nice variation on a traditional recipe. It is faster to make than usual because it is thickened with creamy, protein-rich white beans instead of potato. In addition, watercress and parsley combined offer a fantastic source of nutrients, including iron, calcium and protein!
Don't throw away the tinned bean goo. It is also called aquafaba (Latin for 'bean water'!) and can be used to make vegan cakes, meringues, mousses and more. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate - it will keep for up to 5 days. It also freezes well but is best frozen in small portions to avoid waste - no more than 60ml/1/4 cup.
- 1 tbsp vegan margarine (eg Pure, Vitalite, Suma or Biona)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped roughly
- 1 large bunch of watercress OR 2 bags ready-washed watercress - keep a few small sprigs for garnish
- 500ml/18fl oz strong vegan stock - use 2 Green Oxo or 2 tsp vegan bouillon powder such as Marigold
- 2 tsp dried parsley OR 1 handful of fresh, chopped roughly
- 2 tins white beans, eg butter, haricot, cannellini
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- Dash of soya milk or soya cream
- Salt and lots of black pepper
1. In a medium-large saucepan, heat the margarine. When it is melted, add the oil. Saute (gently fry) the onion in the fat until it is translucent (softened but not brown).
2. Add the watercress and saute for another few minutes.
3. Add the stock, parsley, beans and nutmeg. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Blend until smooth. Taste and season - add more salt/pepper/nutmeg as desired. Add the soya milk or soya cream at this point.
5. Add the watercress sprigs just before serving.
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