6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium banana shallots, diced
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
4 small baking potatoes
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 cups watercress leaves, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 cups 2-percent milk
Salt to taste
Sour cream for garnish
6 sprigs watercress for garnish
• Slice off the root ends and green tops from the leeks.
Split the leeks lengthwise, wash them carefully and submerge them in cold water for 15 minutes, then finely chop them.
• Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the leeks, shallots and cracked black pepper.
• Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
• Quarter the baking potatoes lengthwise, then thinly slice them.
• Add the potatoes and chicken stock and cook, covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes.
• Add the peas, cover and cook an 5 additional minutes.
• Stir in the watercress and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the soup stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
• Working in small batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or a food mill and process until smooth.
• Return the soup to the pan. Over low heat, stir in the milk until the soup is the desired consistency. Season with salt to taste.
• Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each with a swirl of sour cream and a sprig of watercress.