A deliciously thick watercress soup without potato that is not only packed full of flavour and nutrients but there aren’t any (diabetic) carb counting requirements. This soup recipe is not only (diabetic) carb count free, suitable for vegans, and gluten free but is also another great way to get more plants into your diet.
Watercress is one of the vegetables that I just can’t get enough of. But sometimes I want to do something a little different with it and this soup recipe is just the thing. This homemade deliciously thick watercress soup is a recipe I turn to when I feel like we all need an extra punch of nutrients. It has a wonderful depth of flavour and the slight peppery kick from the watercress really adds extra warmth.
This watercress soup as with all my recipes is super easy to make. It just requires some rough chopping, boiling the kettle and a little blitzing so you can enjoy a thick and comforting soup. A little bit of effort will deliver great rewards! Plus it’s another easy way of getting lots of goodness inside of you, as I mention in my blog HOW TO EAT MORE PLANTS – 12 TIPS.
Is watercress soup good for you?
The short answer is absolutely yes.
But to be honest all vegetable soups are good for you as the endless combinations provide your body with such a varied nutritional profile of vitamins and minerals. Plus any losses through the boiling process of the vegetables get picked up in the soup. And this tasty watercress soup recipe is no exception.
Watercress, according to Watercress UK, “is rich in vitamins, containing over 50 vital vitamins and minerals. Gram for gram contains more calcium than milk, more folate than bananas, more Vitamin C than oranges and more Vitamin E than broccoli.” Quite an impressive list right.
But this soup doesn’t stop there it also includes spinach which is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and iron. Plus the extra ingredient that makes this soup so thick and creamy without using potatoes, is butternut squash.
The squash not only adds another whopping vitamin and mineral kick but helps to make this soup (diabetic) carb count free. Meaning you can enjoy as much as you like without having to figure out the insulin requirements!
How to Prepare Butternut Squash
I have to admit I often cheat with this recipe and use the pre-prepared butternut squash slices from Sainsbury’s. Simply because it saves time which is often key during the week.
However, if you are using a whole, unprepared butternut squash then here is my method for preparing.
- Place the squash in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. This simply helps to soften the squash and makes it easier to peel and cut.
- Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the squash then hold the base of the squash and carefully cut it in half
- Use a peeler or if the skin is very tough use a pairing knife to remove all of the skin from the squash
- Then use a spoon to dig out and remove the seeds – N.B. Place the seeds to one side if you are planning on roasting them for a delicious snack
- Finally using your large knife again, cut the squash into chunks
What you will need to make this Thick Watercress Soup
- Olive oil
- One of my favourites but it has to be extra virgin
- Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats
- Leek or onions
- Bring an essential flavour and gentle sweetness to the soup
- Frozen chopped onions work brilliantly as well if you want to save time
- Butternut squash
- Loaded with vitamin A, carotenoids, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
- I use pre-prepared butternut squash slices for ease
- Alternatively, see my tips above on my method for preparing a whole butternut squash
- Vegetable Stock cubes
- The basis of any great soup
- I use the Knorr stock pots
- A total nutritional powerhouse of a vegetable, full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
- Packed with nutrients like vitamin K, carotenoids (which we turn into vitamin A), vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
- Rich in insoluble fibre which can aid digestion
How to make Watercress Soup
This soup recipe, as with all my homemade soups, really is very easy to make. It just requires a little time, a little chopping with a little blitzing and in under 30 minutes you can enjoy this nutrient-dense watercress soup
Prepare all your ingredients (see above for tips on preparing the butternut squash) and then in a deep pan heat a little oil and add the onion. Stirring occasionally, leave the onion to gently soften and brown for around 5 minutes.
Next, add the butternut squash. Give it a good stir again, and then add the vegetable stock. Pop the lid on your saucepan and simmer on a gentle heat for 15-20 minutes or until the squash has softened.
Once softened, remove the lid and add the watercress and spinach, pushing them down into the stock. Keep pushing and stirring until the watercress and spinach have wilted.
Finally, remove the pan from the heat and using a stick blender, blitz all the ingredients until you have a deliciously smooth soup. Alternatively, pour the soup into a blender and blitz. Season well to taste.
Serving suggestion – swirl through a dollop of natural yoghurt and sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds.
- Use a hand blender to blend this soup. If you are going to use a jug blender, make sure to cool your soup a little first, as putting hot soup in can cause it to explode.
- You may need to add a little bit more water or stock to the soup after blending, depending on the consistency that you want. Sometimes you can lose water if you have cooked the soup on too high a heat, so just add some more in at the end to your preference.
If you liked this, then take a look at these other delicious and nutritious recipes that are blood sugar-friendly and beneficial for diabetes management
How to store homemade soup
Homemade soup is a great make-in-advance meal and can happily be stored in either the fridge or freezer. But as with all food that is stored in the fridge or freezer, make sure it is completely cool before you put it in.
In the fridge
Transfer your soup to an airtight container. I have a Tupperware jug and lid that fits beautifully in the fridge door which is just so handy for soup.
Leave in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat in the microwave in a microwaveable bowl or back in a saucepan on the hob.
In the freezer
You can also freeze the soup for 3 to 4 months in portions. I like to use specific freezer bags for soups and sauces.
A no-carb count soup that makes a nutritious lunch or snack without having to figure out the insulin requirements. However, I think it’s even better with some crusty bread for soaking up all those delicious flavours.
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