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.