where the wild things are . no 21. chilled wild watercress soup and welsh rarebit with wild ginger

I used the last of the wild watercress for this soup. It has now become leggy and has flowered so it is sort of done for the season but it was lovely while it lasted. This recipe is from Alice Waters but I used two kinds of Sorrel instead of one. A wood sorrel and a sorrel I picked up from the Greenmarket.

 Chilled Wild Watercress and Sorrel Soup and Welsh Rarebit With Wild Ginger

 Adapted from Alice Water's Watercress and Sorrel Soup 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 pound yellow Finn or red potatoes, peeled and quartered

3 1/2 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or canned low-sodium

chicken broth

1 pound watercress, tough stems discarded

1/2 pound sorrel, stems discarded

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion add cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about

Stir in the watercress and sorrel, cover and simmer over low heat until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and re-warm over moderately high heat; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the croutons.

NOTES Sorrel is a perennial herb with a sour flavor. It is shaped like spinach, but the color of the leaves ranges from pale to dark green. Look for sorrel with bright, crisp leaves. The stems should not be woody. While sorrel is available year-round, its peak season is the spring, when it's at its mildest.

 Welsh Rarebit With Wild Ginger

The key to good Welsh Rarebit is a really good cheddar cheese. I like one with a bit of a bite. Don't worry no rabbits were harmed in this process!! Welsh Rarebit is just another way to say fancy cheese toast and it does not in fact have anything to do with rabbit!!

3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

3 tablespoons of AP flour

1 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1/2-teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of any dark beer

2 cups of grated sharp Cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon grated wild ginger or fresh horseradish

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Toast 4-6 pieces of bread. I used a raisin nut loaf from Balthazar and the fruit in the bread was perfect with the bite of the Rarebit.

Grate the cheese

Grate the Wild Ginger or Horseradish

Melt the butter over LOW heat in a small sauce pan and whisk in the four stirring constantly and taking care not to burn the butter or the flour. Add the cream, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, wild ginger, salt, pepper and beer and combine until smooth.  Slowly begin to add the cheese stirring constantly for 5 minutes or so until the sauce is smooth. Pour over the toasted bread and pop under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is bubbly. It is often served without broiling but I like it better with a little crisp.

watercress

watercress

watercress, wood sorrel and sorrel

watercress, wood sorrel and sorrel

wild sorrel 

wild sorrel 

broiled rarebit

broiled rarebit

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