We’re Cooking: Watercress and Wasabi Summer Soup

Summer is in full swing, and nothing is better than a chilled summer soup filled with earthy, herbaceous flavors that sing of garden freshness. This one adds a hint of heat and spice from wasabi and the peppery bite of watercress. When blended with creamy yogurt the result is sublime. Enjoy with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc like citrus-filled Priest Ranch Sauvignon Blanc ($22) from Napa, or herbaceous Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc ($15) from Chile.

Watercress and Wasabi Summer Soup
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 leek, only the white part chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 – 2 tablespoons wasabi (1 + more to your taste)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
Zest of 1 lemon + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to your taste
1 cup packed basil
2 tablespoons Italian parsley
2 cups packed, watercress (stems and leaves
2 cups nonfat, plain Greek Yogurt

In a small stockpot/soup pot, over medium heat sauté the garlic, celery, onion, and leek in the olive oil and butter until translucent. While sautéing add 1 tablespoon wasabi, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Once the onions are translucent add to the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then turn the heat off. When the soup has cooled slightly add the soy sauce, herbs, and watercress to a blender and pour in the stock. (Don’t overload your blender, as the stock will be hot, so work in batches, and cover the lid of the blender with a kitchen towel to make sure the soup doesn’t splash out.) Immediately add the zest and lemon juice to keep the herbs bright green color. Pour the soup back into the stockpot and whisk in the yogurt until fully combined and smooth. Adjust any other seasonings at this point, including adding additional wasabi if you like. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 3 hours. Serve with a few watercress and basil leaves on top.




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