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Chefs Recipe and Cookery School Offer: Watercress Soup by Raymond Blanc, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

A feast for the senses awaits at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.  The vision of Chef Raymond Blanc this exquisite venue offers restaurant, rooms and a cookery school.

The cookery school courses are suitable for experience of all levels. From half day introductions, to residential programmes, dinner party masterclasses to children’s courses, there is something for everyone. Many courses focus on recipes important to Raymond Blanc, showcasing dishes that inspired him to become the Michelin-starred chef he is today.

Cookery Offer – We are delighted to offer members an exclusive rate of 20% off any course in the Raymond Blanc Cookery School until 30th December 2017. Call 01844 278 881 quoting ‘Luxury Restaurant Guide Offer’ to receive special rate. Find full list of courses here

Member Club Offer – Members receive a club benefit in the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Restaurant of 10% off total food bill when having lunch Monday to Friday. Click here for details

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Watercress Soup

This simple soup brings out all the qualities of watercress; fresh, tangy and peppery.  This can be made one day in advance, but it is always better when it is made just before serving.


  • 20g /1 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 100g / ½x Finely chopped onion
  • 400g / 4 bunches Watercress (*1), large bunches, stalks removed
  • 100g / 1 handful Spinach, washed and picked
  • 8g / 8 pinches Sea Salt
  • 1g /2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 750ml  Boiling Water (*2)
  • 750ml  Ice (*3)


On a low heat, sweeten the onion in the butter for 8 minutes until softened and translucent.

Turn up the heat, add ¾ watercress (reserving some of the leaves to add to the soup at the last moment) and spinach and wilt for 2 minutes.

Add the water (boiling), season with the sea salt and pepper and quick boil for 2 minutes.

Purée in a liquidiser until very smooth and add the reserved ¼ of watercress to taste (*4).

Reheat, taste and correct the seasoning if required – serve immediately, piping hot to your guests in a large soup tureen.

Watercress soup by Raymond Blanc, Photo credit David Griffen

Chef’s notes

*1 – According to the variety, the watercress may vary in its strength of flavour.  If your watercress is very peppery, cut off the entire stalk, but if it is mild, keep some of the stalk.

*2 – The boiling water speeds up the making of the soup and retains the colour and flavour of the watercress.

*3 – The ice stops the cooking, which will keep the vivid colour, the flavour and the nutrients. Reheat the soup at the last moment for the same reasons.

*4 – Adding the raw watercress at the last minute increases the fresh flavour of the watercress and increases the nutritional content derived from the raw phytonutrients in the watercress.



As a good Frenchman, I would be tempted to add a clove of pureed garlic or flakes of toasted garlic to the soup. A tablespoon of Greek yoghurt would be a nice addition.

Nutrition Facts

The technique of cooking and retaining the colour and the flavour answers all of the rules of nutrition as you get the best of both raw (higher vitamin C & phytonutrient content) and cooked (Carotenes and lutein better absorbed)

Watercress is an excellent source of vitamin A & vitamin C and iron. Onion, leeks and garlic are all members of the allium family, all good sources of vitamin B6, vitamin C and minerals.


The Restaurant: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison | Church Road | Great Milton | Oxfordshire | OX44 7PD | www.belmond.com/lemanoir | 01844 278881

Click here for booking details and Member Club Offer


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