Restorative Watercress & Pear Soup

This vitamin- and mineral-rich soup is a delicious natural pick-me-up when you’re anaemic or feeling tired and run down. People think spinach is rich in iron, but the dark green leaves of watercress contain significantly more iron as well as vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron more efficiently. The pears contain many vitamins and minerals, are a good source of soluble fibre, and add a note of sweetness to the taste; and the ginger, garlic and chilli give an extra, warming zing.

1 large bunch spring onions
5 garlic cloves
1 thumb-size piece of ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small potatoes
750ml vegetable stock
2 pears
2 bunches watercress
salt and pepper, to taste
sprinkle of crushed chilli and extra slivers of pear (optional), to garnish

1 Chop the spring onions and garlic. Peel and finely grate the ginger (or use a garlic press) to extract the juice.
2 In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and gently fry the spring onions and garlic for 10 minutes. Slice the potatoes and add to the pan with the stock. Squeeze in the juice from the grated ginger, discarding the fibrous pulp. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3 Dice the pear. Wash and chop the watercress. Put the pear and watercress into a blender, add the potato stock mix, and purée.
4 Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve the soup garnished with pieces of pear and chilli and a dash of olive oil.

USE Good nutrition is all about balance and I think of this soup as being a nutritional booster – it’s a healthy move if you can incorporate it into your diet once or even twice a week. On other days, eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, cereals and nuts, which are also good sources of iron.

STORAGE This makes about 3 bowls. Best eaten within 2 days.

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