Watercress soup with bacon dumplings

Watercress soup with bacon dumplings

Watercress soup with bacon dumplings

Take this simple green soup from light lunch to dinner party starter with a mouth-watering, meaty garnish of streaky bacon dumplings


  • 25g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 large floury potatoes (about 800g/ 1lb 12oz), chopped into small cubes
  • 200g watercress, leaves picked and stalks chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh horseradish, grated (about 25g/1oz unpeeled weight)
  • 1 ½l vegetable stock
  • olive oil, for drizzling (optional)

For the dumplings

  • 8 streaky bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • small pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. To make the dumplings, mix the bacon with the breadcrumbs and parsley. Shape into 18 balls – the bacon fat will hold the dumplings together. Cover and put in the fridge.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook for 10 mins until soft.
  3. Add the potatoes, watercress stalks and horseradish, and cook for a few mins more, then add the stock and bring everything to a simmer.
  4. When the potatoes are tender (this should take 8-10 mins), stir in most of the watercress leaves, put the dumplings into the soup and let them poach for 3-4 mins or until cooked through.
  5. Gently lift out the dumplings with a slotted spoon and put to one side. Whizz the soup in a blender and season. Divide between 6 bowls and top each with 3 dumplings.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil, if you like, and serve with the reserved watercress leaves on top and plenty of black pepper.

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