Watercress is frequently mentioned as a foodstuff in the twelfth-century manuscript Agallamh na Seanorach (The Colloquy of the Old Men). Legend has sit that it was watercress that enabled St Brendan to live the ripe old age of 180! In Birr Castle in Co. Offaly, Lord and Lady Rosse still serve a soup of watercress gathered from around St. Brendan's well, just below the castle walls.

Serves six to eight

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss until well coated.
Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and sweat on
a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Add the stock and milk, bring to
a boil and cook until the potatoes and onions are soft.
Add the watercress and boil with the lid off for
approximately 4 to 5 minutes until the watercress is cooked.
It will taste soft and tender. Do not overcook or the soup
will loose its fresh green color. Puree the soup in a blender
or food processor. Taste and add a little more salt
and pepper if necessary.

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