“Watercress and Ginger Consomme”

“A Culinary Guide to Herbs, Spices and Flavourings”

by “Arabella Boxer, Jocasta Innes, Charlotte Parry-Crooke, Lewis Esson”



1          duck, pheasant or chicken carcass

1          onion, unpeeled and quartered

1          large leek, trimmed and halved

1          large carrot, scraped and halved

1          celery stick, halved

1          bay leaf

1          teaspoon salt

6          whole black peppercorns

1.5       litres (2-1/2 pints) cold water


To garnish

1-1/2   tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger root

12        small sprigs watercress


Preparation time:        15 minutes

Cooking time:              3-1/4 hours, plus cooling and chilling overnight


The combination of watercress and ginger gives an unusual hot flavor to this soup.


1.         Put the carcass into a large saucepan with the onion, leek, carrot, celery, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns.  Pour in the water and bring slowly to the boil, skimming often.

2.         When the surface is clear of scum, cover the pan and simmer for 3 hours.  Strain and measure the liquid.  If necessary, return to the rinsed-out pan and boil rapidly to reduce to 1-1/2 pints.  Leave to cool.  Pour into a bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

3.         Remove all the fat from the surface of the soup.  To serve, reheat gently in a saucepan and taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.   Bring to the boil and add the ginger.  Lower the heat and simmer for 30 seconds.  Serve garnished with watercress sprigs.