This is the second of two posts about a couple of foods Georgia O'Keeffe enjoyed. It's not up yet, but as soon as I see my article about the great painter on Art Round Table you'll be the second to know.
Watercress Soup is a simple soup to prepare, yet tastes like you spent hours slaving over a hot stove.
Watercress is a "semi-aquatic" (hence the name) green with a spicy taste. But it seems to lose its spiciness when cooked, so if watercress hasn't appealed to you in the past, give it one more chance.
According to that great wealth of medical knowledge, Wikipedia, watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C and antioxidants. There are also claims that it defends against lung and breast cancers. O'Keeffe lived to 98, so you do the math.
Unlike other how-to-add-cold-eggs-into-hot-ingredients recipes (such as chocolate pudding), where you first temper the eggs by slowly mixing them with a bit of heated mixture before adding them to the pot to avoid them curdling into unappetizing-looking but totally edible threads, with Watercress Soup you want the eggs to curdle into egg drop soup-like very pretty yet totally edible threads.
If you prefer a parve (or vegetarian) version, feel free to sub in veggie broth.
The original recipe calls for "herb salt." I took a look at the stuff you can buy prefab as well as several online recipes, and pretty much the only thing they all have in common is salt and pepper. So in order to replicate "herb salt" I added a few dried herbs from my spice rack that caught my eye. The resulting soup must have pleased theHubby greatly ... he had two full bowls.
adapted from A Painter's Kitchen: Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O'keeffe
Makes 4 servings
2 cans (14 ozs. each) chicken broth
1 bag (4 ozs.) watercress, washed if not pre-washed
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt (plus more to taste, if needed)
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 tsp. dried dill
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried onion buillon
1 tsp. dried oregano
Heat chicken broth in 3 or 4 qt saucepan just to a simmer. Looks kinda boring here, but I promise you, it will get much more exciting later.
Meanwhile, break eggs into a medium-sized bowl and light beat with a fork; set aside. Use scissors to cut watercress into 1-inch lengths. I ripped the bag open just enough to let me snip it up yet keep it from escaping.
When broth comes to a simmer, reduce heat to low. Add in watercress and gently stir it around.
While continuing to gently stir, slowly pour in eggs in a thin stream, so that they curdle into delicate threads.
Stir in salt, pepper and the dried herbs. Let heat for another minute to completely cook eggs and to lightly wilt watercress. Taste and add more salt (and/or herbs) if necessary.
Remove saucepan from heat. Ladle soup into 4 bowls and serve.