I'm a big fan of watercress because it makes for a delightfully delicious soup. Watercress is big on nutrients too but usually I make the carnivore version - watercress soup with chicken or with pork.
This time though I tried a vegetarian version of watercress soup. I was inspired to cook this soup as I've been visiting Than Hsiang Temple almost weekly now for my vegetarian lunch (one of my resolutions this year is to eat less meat and more veg - not that I am a big meat-eater. I just want to do my part for the environment). I salute those who are vegetarian because it's not easy, well for me at least. I still love fish too much!
So yeah, I made a pot of watercress soup today. And it's suitable for vegetarians.
You need only 3 ingredients:
1 bunch of fresh watercress
(pluck leaves and wash. Do not throw away the hard stems. This will go into the soup too. It'll be too wasteful to throw out the stems when they can add flavour to the soup.You don't have to eat the stems though.)
8-10 dried red dates, de-seeded
Buy unseeded dates and de-seed them yourself. I used to be lazy and thought that buying de-seeded dates would save me time but my mom-in-law said that de-seeded dates were de-seeded in unhygienic ways so it's back to regular dates for me.
1 whole carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
Bring a pot of water (approximately 1.5 litres) to boil.
Add in red dates, carrot and watercress stems.
Boil for 10 minutes on high fire, uncovered.
Lower fire to a simmer and cover pot with lid.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the watercress leaves.
Simmer covered again for another 30 minutes.
Finally, add salt to taste.
Turn off fire and the soup 'rest' for another 10 minutes.(I found that this makes the soup a lot tastier. I wonder why.)
Dish into bowls and serve warm, with rice or on its own.