Although this soup is teeming with vegetables, its distinctive peppery nature comes from none of them. In fact, it's only after the soup is puréed with the watercress that its true springlike personality emerges. As a soup ingredient, the pungent streamside herb enjoys international fame from the French veloute cressonniere and potage de sante (a sophisticated health food soup) to an old Yankee dish, known simply as Vermont spring soup.
In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic, turnips, potatoes, and carrots. Cover and cook until vegetables are starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, parsley, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add asparagus and peas and cook another 5 minutes. purée half the soup with watercress and return it to remainder of soup. Stir in tarragon vinegar, taste for salt and pepper, and serve.
A GOOD DAY FOR SOUP
by Jeannette Ferrary and Louise Fiszer
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
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