GINGER WATERCRESS SOUP

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“This just vibrates with fresh flavors.”

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 4 baby leeks, pale parts only, trimmed, rinsed, and chopped
• 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger root
• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 4 cups mild-flavored chicken or vegetable broth or water
• 2 medium new potatoes, peeled and diced
• 1 cup shelled peas or snap peas
• bunch watercress, roughly chopped

Some garnish options:
• juice of a lemon or lime
• 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt or sour cream
• 4 teaspoons local honey

Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a soup pot. Add the leeks and celery and cook gently until soft and aromatic. Add the ginger and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper, and cook a few more minutes.

Add the stock or water and the diced potato, and turn up the heat to medium. Simmer 5 minutes, or until potato is almost tender. Add the peas and watercress and cook just a few minutes more, until vegetables are tender, but still the brightest green.

Purée the soup and return it to very low heat. Correct seasoning and add lemon or lime juice to taste if you like. Heat gently without boiling to maintain bright flavors and nice texture. Serve with dollops and drizzles of optional garnishes.

Note: This soup lends itself to endless variation. Katherine likes to give it an intriguing spin by adding a sliced ripe pear along with the ginger. A strict locavore may omit the exotic ginger and out-of-season celery and potatoes and serve up a jade-green essence of pure June in southeastern New England – watercress, peas, baby leeks.

Serves 4.

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Katherine Rossmoore is a mother, integrative health coach, writer, former lawyer, and certified yoga teacher. She is using her love of clean food and cooking in her health coaching business.

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