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December 12, 2009

Watercress Bacon Soup

By Worker Bee
21 Comments

Whether you live in an area being hit by a winter cold snap or you’re lucky enough to be basking in a balmy climate, there is comfort to be found in a bowl of soup. A sip of steaming soup will warm and nourish you to your core, but there’s also great comfort found in the fact that you can’t screw up soup too badly. Gather ingredients in one pot, simmer, and voila, you’ve got soup.

There is however, a bit of an art to selecting just the right ingredients and we think Danielle Thalman has done just that with her Watercress Bacon Soup. Our first soup entry for the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest strikes just the right balance of home cooked comfort food (there’s bacon in it!) and intriguing, complex flavor from a green called watercress.

Watercress is one of those unassuming, weed-like greens that lets others, like spinach and arugula, hog the spotlight even though it has just as much, if not more, to offer. Those of you who buy watercress regularly already know about its pronounced peppery flavor and delicate leaves. But have you realized how insanely nutritious this green is? Watercress is an abundant source of beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1 and B6, C, E and K, iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It also contains a flavonoid called quercetin that is thought to act as a natural anti-histamine and reduce inflammation.

All these nutrients, and its peppery, earthy flavor, make watercress a nice contrast to meaty, rich bacon. Together, with the help of just a little onion and garlic, watercress and bacon simmer into a soup loaded with flavor and comforting goodness.

Ingredients:


  • 4-8 slices bacon
  • One bunch of watercress (wash and separate the leaves and stems then chop the stems up fine)
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped (or white onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 cups meat stock
  • Inner leaves of celery (to add flavor to the broth)

Optional Ingredients: For a richer broth, Danielle sometimes adds 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream or a peeled and cubed potato (sweet or russet) to the soup. When she wants to turn the soup into an even heartier winter meal, she’ll grill a NY steak while the soup is simmering and then plop half the steak into each bowl of soup.

Directions:

Start by frying the bacon in a large, deep frying pan. Then remove the bacon, chop it up and set it aside; use the bacon grease (or olive oil if desired) to sauté the onion and garlic until browned. Then add the watercress stems, crumbled bacon, stock and celery leaves.

(If using cream or potato, add now) Simmer for at least 30 minutes with a lid on then add the watercress leaves and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Pluck out the celery leaves. Add salt and pepper if needed, but the watercress and bacon should already provide adequate seasoning.

Makes two big meal-sized servings or 3-4 smaller “lunch side dish” servings.


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21 Comments on "Watercress Bacon Soup"

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[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

Aaron Blaisdell
Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 9 months ago

Looks amazing! I’ll have to give that a try.

emmcubed
emmcubed
6 years 9 months ago

Oh…my God that looks good.

Grok
6 years 9 months ago

Perfect soup recipe for a cold snowy day!

XxtoastxX
XxtoastxX
6 years 9 months ago

Wel rnt u th cavewoman, Danielle. :/ …Bt no one knows u live right by th golf course!! >:)

DThalman
DThalman
6 years 9 months ago

“toast” is my vegetarian teenaged daughter, you can ignore her… 🙂

Rhys
Rhys
6 years 9 months ago

Just made it. Instead of adding the optional salt, I used baby shrimp, for seasoning and for extra protein. It was very good.

Kristin J
Kristin J
6 years 9 months ago

I had a similar soup at a restaurant last night, but they used broccoli rabe instead of watercress. Bacon in a broth-based soup is a very new idea to me, but it’s amazingly delicious!

iisierra
iisierra
6 years 9 months ago

Looks delicate and delicious!!

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[…] A recipe that includes bacon can’t taste bad, […]

Lars
Lars
6 years 9 months ago

Will be making that tonight!

Lars
Lars
6 years 9 months ago

Made it tonight. Delicious.

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6 years 9 months ago

[…] Cooking Instructions […]

Robin
Robin
6 years 9 months ago

Fantastic recipe!

MariaNYC
MariaNYC
6 years 9 months ago

I made this tonight, and added mushrooms and a small potato. Woooweee! Thanks for another fabulous recipe

DThalman
DThalman
6 years 9 months ago
i like the ideas for additions, mushrooms and shrimp! the collaboration on this site is phenomenal. truth be told, i almost NEVER make this without a sweet potato. since i generally eat no more than 1/3 a batch per day, it’s not too bad on the carbs to add the potato. also i’ve found the quality of the stock is key. my best batch ever i made with home-canned goat stock from a little pit-cooking project. (hey, that might be a good primal post…pit cooking. Or maybe he’s done it already.) also i actually cook it with the lid off,… Read more »
Patrick Hall
Patrick Hall
6 years 9 months ago

I made this over the weekend – I substituted a few dashes of celery seed instead of leaf, as I had no fresh celery. Seemed to impart the same flavoring.

This is a great winter pickmeup!

Ruby
Ruby
6 years 8 months ago

I made this soup last weekend and it’s wonderful! I used organic turkey bacon because I needed to use some up I had in the fridge and it was good. Just a note to those adding cream (half and half works too): don’t add it prior to the 30 minute simmer as stated in the recipe or it will separate and the soup will look a little nasty. Add it at the end and cook just long enough to warm through.

Dawn
Dawn
6 years 2 months ago

It’s winter in New Zealand and I made this today – absolutely fantastic!

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[…] 29, 2010 by The Foodee Watercress Bacon Soup Marks Daily […]

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