Watercress Soup With Spring Garlic


  • 2 Spring garlic heads (with stalks attached if possible)
  • 110g Unsalted butter
  • 1 Large Spanish onion (about 450g, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced)
  • 2.5 tablespoons Maldon salt (or another flaky sea salt)
  • 450g Baking potatoes (peeled, cut into 1-cm pieces, rinsed and drained well)
  • 450ml Whole milk
  • 450g Watercress (bottom 2.5cm of stems trimmed, thick stem thinly sliced, the rest left whole)
  • 1 Small handful of chervil springs (optional)
  • 110ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 120g Crème fraîche
  • 1/2 tablespoon Black peppercorns (toasted in a pan until aromatic)


Step 1
Trim away the roots and cut off and discard the dark green tops of the garlic. Halve the bulbs lengthwise and thinly slice them.
Step 2
Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat, then add the garlic, onion, and 1 tablespoon of the salt, and have a stir. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and creamy (about 30 minutes).
Step 3
Add the potatoes, milk, the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of salt, and 450ml of water. Cover the pot, increase the heat to medium, and bring the liquid to a vigorous simmer. Uncover and lower the heat if necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the potatoes are fully tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 4
Add the watercress (and chervil, if using) and gently stir to submerge the greens in the liquid. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and add the 110 ml oil, then remove the pot from the heat.
Step 5
Pour the soup into a large mixing bowl and blend the soup until very smooth (working in batches if necessary and adding each batch back to the pot).
Step 6
Combine the crème fraîche and crushed peppercorns in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and stir well. Serve with the crème fraîche mixture on top.
Step 7