Princess Diana's watercress soup

Princess Diana's watercress soup

Princess Di's Watercress Soup

(Taken from Recipes for Life, 1995)

Her own recipe--a nice soup, very British. Serve hot to 4-6 people:

  • 2 ounces butter

  • 2 ounces flour

  • 2 pints chicken stock

  • 12 ounces watercress, chopped, with large stems removed

  • 1 pint single cream

Heat butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour, stirring for a few minutes. Remove from heat and pour in the chicken stock, whisking hard. Bring to a simmer and add watercress. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Puree in a blender, return to saucepan and heat with the cream. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls.

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It’s hard to imagine Princess Diana drinking soup from a mug curled up on the sofa, instead she would have had to demonstrate correct soup eating etiquette. To make sure you could take soup with the Queen, without causing a stir, or a making a slurp, here are some tips on how to eat soup correctly:

Top 10 Tips on Correct Soup Etiquette

  1. When serving soup, place the soup plates or bowls on an under plate.

  2. When the soup is finished or the spoon is laid down, the spoon is left in the soup plate, not on the dish underneath.

  3. If the soup is served in a cup, the spoon is left on the saucer.

  4. When eating soup, fill the spoon by pushing it away from you, towards the far side of the bowl. Bring this to the mouth and tip the soup in from the side of the spoon; don’t try eating with the spoon at 90 degrees to the mouth. Don’t suck or slurp.

  5. Spooning it away from you allows any soup that is going to dribble off the spoon to end up back in the bowl on its short journey back across the bowl, instead of on your shirt, blouse, or lap. It definitely helps reduce spills!

  6. Because this is a little counter-intuitive, there’s a short memory rhyme developed long ago to help us remember which direction to spoon the soup:

    “Like ships that go out to sea, I spoon my soup away from me.”

  7. Hold the soup spoon by resting the end of the handle on your middle finger, with your thumb on top.

  8. To retrieve the last spoonful of soup, slightly tip the bowl away from you and spoon in the way that works best. This stops you from pouring the soup into your lap

  9. If the soup is hot, don’t blow on it, or any food, to cool it. It sends the signal that you’re impatient. Allow your food to cool on its own

  10. If you want a bite of bread while eating your soup, don't hold the bread in one hand and your soup spoon in the other. Instead, place the spoon on the under plate, then use the same hand to take the bread to your mouth.


To get the full low-down on how to eat soup correctly watch this short video

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