Watercress Soup 西洋菜汤

That was the first and last time I had Daikon in my Watercress Soup. Not horribly wrong but I lost the distinct watercress taste that I enjoy. So in the same recipe, I omitted the daikon to make a clear tasting Watercress Soup - 西洋菜汤. While most Watercress Soups are boiled with pork/spare ribs or pork bones, I made my Watercress Soup with chicken bones.

Watercress Soup

Watercress is one of the most nutritious vegetables and has rich sources of vitamins and essential minerals. While Western cuisines usually call for Watercress of dainty amount in salads and garnish, Chinese cuisines use one (or two) reasonably bunch(es) in soups (clear soups, not puree). Whenever I see Watercress in a grocery store like WholeFoods, I go "That is a different Watercress" - but am I wrong? Weeks later, I kinda found the answer in The NY Times.

How wrong or right did the science of association go? They are all the same Watercress, right?

Tip: The longer the watercress soup is boiled, the watercress loses the color of fresh green and turns yellowish-brown. The soup darkens in color to brownish green, with enhanced flavors of the watercress. You can just drink the soup. However, if you wish to taste a clearer soup (looks like first photo), drink the soup and eat some green watercress, do not overcook the watercress in the soup.

Watercress Soup 西洋菜汤 (made with chicken bones)
Ingredients: 1 bunch of watercress, rinsed thoroughly; 2 chicken carcass bones, blanched in boiling water to reduce the scum when making the soup; 2cm knob ginger, slightly crushed; gojiberries, re-hydrated with soup broth; salt to taste

Directions: Add the blanched chicken carcass into the pot with watercress, and ginger, the set them to boil. Once boiling, turn to low heat and allow simmer for about 15 minutes till watercress turns tender. (Note: Half time through the 15 minutes, ladle 1-2 tablespoons of soup and use it to re-hydrate the gojiberries, soaking the gojiberries in the soup broth for about 5 minutes). After about 20 minutes simmering the soup at low heat, turn off heat, then add in gojierries, cover pot and allow the remaining heat of the soup to slowly infuse the gojiberries flavor into the soup.

The Watercress and its soup will be shared at Weekend Herb Blogging - WHB (14th-20th June 2010) hosted by The Crispy Cook.

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