Watercress and pea soup

This delicate, creamy soup is perfect for a spring day and works well served hot or chilled.


  • 100g/3½oz flatleaf parsley
  • 400g/14oz fresh watercress
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 1 shallot, peeled, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 400g/14oz frozen peas (shelled weight)
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints hot vegetable stock
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish

  • handful fresh pea shoots
  • handful baby watercress
  • 2 handfuls croûtons (optional)
  • 2 rashers cooked streaky bacon, crumbled (optional)
  • drizzle olive oil