In this recipe, thick rounds of tangy fresh goat cheese soften and balance the peppery sharpness of a warm bowl of watercress soup. Loaded with potatoes, carrots, leeks and green lentils, it's also a filling and nourishing meal in itself while keeping an easy and summery appeal. Serve with fresh bread and butter on the side for a quick and simple but satisfying light dinner, in or out of doors.
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Potato Leek Soup With Watercress, Green Lentils and Fresh Goat CheeseOther summer soups you may enjoy:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 leeks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, chopped
3-4 whole dried hot red chilies
4 cups hot vegetable stock
1 cup water
1/2 cup whole fat milk or cream
2/3 cup dried green lentils, rinsed
2 bunches or 1 lb. watercress, coarse stalks trimmed
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
fresh goat milk cheese, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When it foams, add the leeks, carrots, potatoes, and dried chilies and toss until well coated. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, water, milk or cream, and lentils. Turn up the heat a little and bring to a boil. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Now turn down the heat to medium and add the watercress. Boil with the lid off for just one minute — the watercress should be soft and tender, but do not overcook.
Remove from heat and discard the chilies. Purée with a hand blender or in a countertop blender to the desired consistency — a little chunky, as I prefer, or smooth.
Season with salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot or warm with a round of fresh goat milk cheese added to each bowl.
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