Restorative Watercress and Pear Soup

This vitamin- and mineral-rich soup is a delicious natural pick-me-up when you're anemic or feeling tired and run down. People think spinach is rich in iron, but the dark green leaves of watercress contain significantly more iron as well as vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron more efficiently. The pears contain many vitamins and minerals, are a good source of soluble fiber, and add a note of sweetness to the taste; and the ginger, garlic and chile give an extra, warming zing. Good nutrition is all about balance and I think of this soup as being a nutritional booster - it's a healthy move if you can incorporate it into your diet once or even twice a week. On other days, eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, cereals and nuts, which are also good sources of iron.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 3 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large bunch spring onions, chopped

3 1/8 cups vegetable stock

2 small potatoes, sliced

1 thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 pears, diced, plus wedges for garnish if desired

2 bunches watercress, washed and chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Crushed chiles

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and gently fry the garlic and spring onions for 10 minutes. Add the stock and potatoes. Squeeze in the juice from the grated ginger, discarding the fibrous pulp. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the pear and watercress in blender and add the potato-stock mix. Puree, and then add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve the soup garnished with pieces of pears, chiles, if desired, and a dash of olive oil.
  3. Best if eaten within 2 days.

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