Watercress soup with potato salad and roasted prawns

Guest Chef Gordon Ramsay - Velvety watercress soup surrounding an island of creamy potato salad topped with tiger prawns makes a pretty, elegant first course. And, even better – despite its sophisticated appearance, it is deceptively simple to make, too.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 200g Waxy potatoes
  • 50g Butter
  • 1 litre Chicken stock
  • 400g Watercress
  • 12 Tiger prawns or langoustine tails, heads removed
  • potato salad
  • 400g Charlotte potatoes peeled, halved if large
  • 2 Shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 Salad onions, chopped
  • 2–3 tbsp Mascarpone or crème fraîche
  • 15g Chives, chopped
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice

Method

  1. For the soup, gently sauté the shallot and potatoes in the oil and 25g butter for 15 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add the watercress; as soon as the leaves have wilted, turn off the heat.
  2. Strain, reserving stock, and transfer the leaves and potatoes to a food processor. Blend with enough stock so it’s the consistency of pouring cream. Season if necessary.
  3. For the salad, boil the potatoes until just tender. Put the shallots and onions in a colander and pour over boiling water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper
  4. Dice the potatoes, then stir in the mascarpone or crème fraîche. Add the onions, chives and lemon juice, and season.
  5. Melt the remaining 25g butter in a frying pan.When it starts to foam, add the prawns, season and fry over a moderate heat for 3–4 minutes, until bright pink. When cool enough to handle, remove the shells and veins.
  6. To serve, reheat the soup. Put the salad in warmed bowls, top with the prawns, and pour the soup around.