Ground Elder, Watercress and Pea Soup
This lovely parsley and peppery tasting soup is one I put together at least once a week, when the Ground Elder and Watercress is about. It is full of green goodness!
Watercress should only be foraged from a clean water source and should always be cooked if picked from areas with livestock, due to possible liver fluke. Cooking it will kill this microscopic parasite and make it perfectly safe to eat.
The Ground Elder should always be foraged before the flowers appear. After it flowers it can become a laxative, diuretic and have a slight sedative effect.
500g Ground Elder
2 handfuls of peas
Sprig of mint
Rock or Sea salt to taste (today I used my wild garlic infused Himalayan rock salt)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
150ml double cream
400ml boiling water
1 large onion
Large knob of butter
Wash Watercress and Ground Elder.
Chop onion and fry in the butter on a low heat for around five minutes until softened
Add the foraged greens and sauté on a medium heat for another 5 minutes.
Add peas, mint, seasoning and boiling water and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes.
Take off the heat and blitz to your desired consistency.
Add double cream and stir.
Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale). This powerhouse plant is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It is a member of the Brassica family (cabbage and mustard). It has many, many health benefits.
Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria). This was brought over by the Romans as a pot herb. It escaped and it became a very invasive plant. The bane of many gardeners lives! It has been used to treat Arthritis and Gout amonst lots of other ailments, hence one of its common names GoutWeed.