Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer soup

Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating on this blog and on my readers with instagram. It’s like I’m leading a double life. The ease with which I share my everyday kitchen adventures there, is making it difficult to come here and write lengthy stories and detailed recipes.

I don’t like this to be honest. I want to share more here but then again the effortlessness of posting a single photograph on instagram, one that tells a story by itself, with just a caption below it or even without one, is particularly appealing to me.

Perhaps I need to change my perception of what my blog is or what I want it to be, the idea I have of it and the purpose it has for me. I want to be flexible and more spontaneous yet the fact that I write this blog in two languages makes it difficult to post as quickly as I’d want to. Perhaps I should also stop being such a perfectionist and not need to have all the photos of the process and the recipe written just so. I guess I need to work on these things in order to post more regularly here and share with you all the goodies I make. I want that so much! And believe me I have lots to share.

So in an effort to do that, I’m sharing with you a soup I made the other day. A watercress soup with green apple and super-quick pickled radishes. It is delicious, healthy and light, the best type of soup to enjoy during these first days of summer.

It can be eaten either warm or chilled and it is perfect either way. It’s not a thick soup but on the thinner side and scrumptiously light, with crunch and pungency coming from the pickled radishes. It’s a fresh, herby and vibrant soup with sweetness from the apple, potatoes and onions that tames the strong pepperiness of the watercress while the acidity and sourness of the yoghurt complements it.

Watercress soup

Use the freshest and best quality watercress as it will make all the difference. Don’t go for the packaged leaves but buy whole bunches of watercress with their stems. For those of you who haven't tasted watercress before, it is peppery and slightly bitter, reminiscent of rocket, and has the freshness of purslane.

I used my trusted mandoline to julienne the radishes, but a good sharp knife will do the trick as well.

Yield: 4-6 servings

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely sliced
200 g potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Golden Delicious (green) apples, peeled and chopped
2 large bunches (about 400 g) fresh watercress with stems (tough stalks removed), chopped
1 liter chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 small bunch (about 20 g) fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

for the super-quick pickled radishes
6 radishes, cut julienne (matchsticks)
½ tsp white balsamic (or white wine) vinegar
½ Tbsp water

120 g Greek strained yoghurt, full-fat, for serving

Special equipment: mandoline (optional), small sieve, immersion or regular blender

Add olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly until translucent and then add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring continuously and then add the potatoes and apples. Stir, cover the pot with the lid and cook over low heat for 8 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes and apples are very soft. Add the watercress and parsley and cook for 4-5 minutes with the lid open. Give the soup a taste and add salt and pepper.
Turn heat off and leave to cool for 5 minutes before liquidizing the soup.

In the meantime, in a small bowl, add the radish and the vinegar and mix with a spoon. Then add the water and mix again. Put aside for 5-6 minutes, then drain well using a small sieve.

Ιf you’re using an immersion blender, liquidize the soup directly in the pan until smooth. If you have a regular blender, transfer the soup little by little to it and liquidize until you have a smooth soup. Return soup to the pan.

Serve the warm soup into bowls, add a dollop of yoghurt and top with a few pickled radishes.

You can also serve it chilled.


  1. I know exactly what you mean, I often wonder if I should re-think the format of my blog. If I should be more spontaneous, and just publish quick, whimsical posts on the spur of the moment. Because I know I enjoy it when other bloggers do that, it makes me feel like I know them better, like we are more in touch. One of the reasons I love Instagram.
    What a lovely combination of flavors and bright, fresh ingredients... perfect for the heatwave that is hitting us this week.

    1. Yes! That's exactly it. :)
      The heatwave is relentless over here too. Today is about 30C which for the Netherlands and the horrible humidity we always have here, is like being in Dubai!

  2. As I am not on Instagram, I am not quite sure how to respond, except to say that the writing that comes with your gorgeous photos is very special to me. I would sincerely miss it if it went away. It has also become my favorite part of the blogging experience, which surprised me a lot.

    The soup looks wonderful We are getting fresh watercress in the market now, so I will give this a whirl. (Pun intended...)

    Stay cool. ~ David

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words David. Writing is important to me apart from the recipes but lately I'm struggling a bit with that.

  3. Went and made this soup yesterday and it was fantastically delicious.
    I read your thoughts on this blog and I hope I may give my 2 cents about it... This blog is the first food blog I began to follow. I love cooking, I love Greece and its cuisine. I found the photos that comes with the recipes are sometimes helping me through the cooking process. So I do hope that you do not disappear totally to Instagram. (I don't have a phone smart enough to handle that.)

    1. Hi Betty! Oh I'm thrilled you enjoyed it!
      Thank you so much for your support. I don't plan to stop blogging or replace it with instagram. I love it too much to do that :)

  4. This looks delicious Magda (as always) , I just love the way that you post the photos of how to cook meals. You make it look so inviting. I totally know what you mean about instagram. But I love connecting on your blog as well. You write so beautifully. I look forward to connecting in both places! xxxx

    1. Thank you Christina! You are the sweetest! :)

  5. I believe I’m cheating on my blog with Instagram too. I'm sure we'll all transition, or not, into what suits us best. Love the touch of pickled radish on your soup.