Watercress Soup with Pickled Cucumbers
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 8
Quick-pickled cucumber slices give this delicate, fresh-tasting soup a little zing.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- One 8-ounce Yukon Gold potato, peeled and sliced 1/3 inch thick
- 1/2 pound watercress, coarsely chopped (5 cups)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup skim milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 European cucumber, peeled
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the leek and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the potato, cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the watercress and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan. Add the whole and skim milk and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.
- Meanwhile, trim the peeled cucumber to form a rectangle. Cut the cucumber crosswise into very thin slices. In a medium bowl, combine the rice vinegar with a large pinch of salt. Add the cucumber slices and toss well. Let stand until they have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with cucumber slices and serve.
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