Currently I am in a watercress phase. I used to hate the bitterness so much but my mom made this soup and it just changed my mind completely about this bitter green. Look at the freshly washed watercress! Mom's tip was to buy bundles with the thinnest and shortest stems. These are more tender. I wouldn't dwell too long on this criteria at the market though because they come in bundles and you won't have much of a choice anyway.
Mmm look at the final result. (Recipe below). This soup was so refreshing and would be great on a summer evening. Once you boil the watercress for some time, the bitterness goes away and the greens and broth are more sweet. Watercress is also very good for you so eat freely and abundantly! I even found a link of nutritional facts about watercress.
RECIPE: (For 2 but it can be reheated and eaten for a few days. No longer than a week though.)
2 bundles of watercress, washed, trim the end of the stems optional
10 oz of shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 oz shrimp/beef/fish balls (your choice)
Garlic cloves to taste
2 cans chicken broth
1 cup water
- Chop the shrimp as small as you can. It's actually better to pound them into a mush but that's optional too. Mix in salt, pepper, garlic, dash of fish sauce to taste. Set aside in a bowl.
- Sautee 2 large pounded cloves of garlic in a pot with olive oil or veggie oil.
- Add the fish balls, cook on high for 3 minutes, stirring. The time you spend cooking them is up to you. I like to let it brown slightly so that it flavors the soup later.
- Add the shrimp.
- Add the chicken broth and water. I used my home made chicken broth that I had already seasoned. If you are using canned, you will need to season to taste once the whole soup is done. I would add a bit of fish sauce and tiny bit of sugar to balance if it needs it.
- When the broth comes to a rolling boil, turn down to medium-high, add your watercress.
- Let simmer until the watercress is soft. I like to eat it while its green like above but you can let it cook past this part. The greens are pretty fibrous and don't get too mushy. Even if it does, it's still good.
- Season if needed per step 5.