Watercress soup with garlic croûtons and soft pickled quails’ eggs

Take your watercress soup to new heights by topping it with croûtons and watercress oil, revealing pickled quails’ eggs and chopped apple below.

Equipment and preparation: you will need a clean muslin cloth and a thermometer.

By Tom Kerridge
From Spring Kitchen with Tom Kerridge


For the pickled quails’ eggs

  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz white wine vinegar
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 6 quails’ eggs

For the watercress soup

  • 500g/1lb 2oz blanched watercress (about 300-400g/10½-14oz uncooked weight))
  • salt, to taste
  • 200g/7oz onions, roughly chopped
  • 250g/9oz potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, finely diced

For the ‘nage’

  • dash oil
  • 300g/10½oz onion, chopped
  • 200g/7oz celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and chopped

For the croûtons

  • ½ loaf wholemeal bread
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 1 garlic clove, grated

For the watercress oil

  • 80g/2¾oz picked watercress
  • 150ml/5fl oz non-scented oil, such as vegetable or sunflower oil

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