Watercress and Pea Soup
We usually think of soup as a warming winter food, but soups are such an easy food to digest and can be so nutrient dense that I love to enjoy them all year round.
In the summer I like to use lighter sunshiny ingredients rather than the rich hearty root vegetable soups of winter and this ‘summer soup’ is delicious.
I’ve been working with several acne clients recently who were looking for quick and easy lunch ideas and I realised this soup was perfect.
Watercress is a real powerhouse packed full of nutrients, rich in beta-carotene the precursor to vitamin A and essential for skin health. Its also rich in vitamins C and E, both potent antioxidants, B vitamins and several minerals including, calcium, iron, potassium and iodine. Watercress is also a ‘bitter’ which means it aids digestion (which often needs supported in those with acne) and cleanses the body.
Onion, garlic and celery contain dietary fibre to promote the growth and diversity of our microbiota, these ‘prebiotic’ are fantastic for supporting gut health.
Cannellini beans add a little creaminess, extra fibre and along with the peas some essential protein which not only provides the building blocks for healthy cells but helps to balance blood sugar. Cannellini beans are also a good source of zinc to support skin and wound healing.
I mix the flavour up by using different fresh herbs, my favourites include mint or basil but parsley, coriander and even thyme work well.
1 onion diced
2 celery sticks
2 cloves garlic
1 bag of watercress (preferably organic)
1 cup of peas
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
100g cannellini beans cooked well and mashed
Salt and pepper
Heat a little olive oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat and add onion, garlic and celery and cook very gently with the lid on until softened.
Add the stock, mashed beans and cook for a few minutes.
Add watercress, peas and Sean with salt and pepper. Cook gently for further 5 mins until watercress has softened.
Blend until smooth or your desired consistency add fresh herbs, my favourites are mint or basil and blend briefly.
I sometimes top this with a drizzle of olive oil or a swirl of homemade pesto and a sprinkle of seeds or even sprouted broccoli seeds.