WA­TER­CRESS Creamy spring soup with goat’s cheese & prosciutto toasts


Q Serves 8 Q Prep 25 mins Q Cook 30 mins Q £1.96 a por­tion Q 472 kcals, 30g fat, 10g sat. fat, 6g sugar 2 tbsp olive or rape­seed oil 1 onion, chopped 1 fen­nel bulb, chopped 200g as­para­gus, woody ends

and all, roughly chopped 1 tsp fen­nel seeds 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed 1.2 litres veg­etable stock 450g frozen peas 100g bag wa­ter­cress,

a few sprigs re­served small pack pars­ley, chopped small pack mint, leaves picked and chopped (or buy 1 large pack and use half in the pesto, if mak­ing) 100ml dou­ble cream FOR THE TOASTS 1 large cia­batta, thickly sliced on an an­gle driz­zle of ex­tra vir­gin olive or rape­seed oil, plus ex­tra to serve 1 fat gar­lic clove, squashed 150g pack soft goat’s cheese 6 slices prosciutto 200g pesto (see be­low),

or buy a fresh one

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and fen­nel and fry gen­tly for 10 mins or un­til soft­ened but not coloured. Add the as­para­gus, fen­nel seeds and gar­lic and stir every­thing around in the pan for an­other 1-2 mins. Pour in the veg­etable stock, season, and cover with a lid. Leave on a gen­tle sim­mer ( but for no longer than 5 mins) while you pre­pare the toasts.

Heat the grill. Put the cia­batta slices on a bak­ing tray and driz­zle with a lit­tle oil. Pop the bread un­der the grill for 2-3 mins each side or un­til golden and crisp. Re­move the toasts and rub the gar­lic clove over each piece of toast.

Add the peas to the soup, bub­ble for 1 min to de­frost, then re­move the pan from the heat and add most of the wa­ter­cress, the herbs and the dou­ble cream. Use a hand blender to blitz it to a smooth, creamy con­sis­tency, then check the sea­son­ing – you will need to be quite gen­er­ous.

Spread each piece of toast with a lit­tle goat’s cheese, then top with some ruf­fled prosciutto, a dol­lop of pesto and a few small sprigs of wa­ter­cress. Fi­nally, driz­zle over a lit­tle olive oil. Serve the toasts along­side the soup, with some ex­tra pesto on the side.

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