French Watercress Soup (Potage au cresson)
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Lee
Posted on: November 27, 2005

While on holiday in France I happened to notice that watercress soup is quite commonplace there. It is unheard of in the UK. The French call it ‘cresson’.

Have you any advice for anyone intending to raise a crop of watercress? Looks like I’m going to need a pond of some sort, but this may not be necessary as my garden is located in the valley of a local river, so perhaps it could be grown inconspicuously along the riverbank, which would be quite convenient.

Actually, watercress grows better along the shores of streams and rivers. It prefers running water as opposed to the stagnant water of ponds. Watercress is easily started from seeds in spring. The seeds can be scattered over along the river’s banks where the water is moving but not so fast that erosion tears away any plants growing along the edge. The soil on the river bank must be wet throughout the summer. You can encourage better seedling establishment if you remove the vegetation that is growing in the area to be seeded first. Once established, watercress persists as a perennial if the conditions are to its liking.

Richters offers the seeds. Please see:

I will also need a recipe for the soup... is it covered in your book?

I found this recipe on the internet. I do not have a recipe for it in my book. Hope it resembles the one you had in France. (Interesting that your name is Cresswell!)


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