June “Tips From Tats” – Watercress Soup Recipe

With the summer months upon us it’s the perfect time to visit your farmers market to find fresh produce while supporting the local community. This month’s “Tips From Tats” features a versatile superfood that can be found while perusing a farmers market. Watercress, or “leko” as it is translated into Hawaiian, has a distinguishable peppery flavor and crisp texture.

Bunches of Sumida Farms Watercress Photo Credit: Pinterest – CTAHR LIFE

Here in Hawai‘i, 75% of watercress is farmed on O‘ahu across 12 farms with 2 farms on Maui and 1 farm on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, making up the additional 25% of the harvest. Due to its short shelf life of one to two days, watercress grown in Hawai‘i are sold within the islands at local grocery stores and farmers markets ensuring the freshest of quality.

David Sumida, Owner of Sumida Farms in Pearl City, O‘ahu Photo Credit: Hawai‘i Magazine

Aside from its robust taste, watercress is a potential anti-cancer superfood high in calcium, carotenes, folic acid, zinc, iron, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.

Here is a delicious and hearty recipe for a watercress soup with much of the produce that can be found at your local farmers market. It’s a dish that is sure to be enjoyed during a summer lunch or help to warm a cold night.

Please share with us how your batch turned out and send us those photos!

Photo Credit: Flickr

Watercress Soup

Serves 6


  • 1 bunch of watercress, washed, tough stems removed, and chopped

  • 1 large cooking onion, coarsely chopped

  • 4 strips of bacon, thinly sliced

  • 2 large potatoes, cleaned and sliced thin

  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons of butter

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 cup cream or half and half


  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.

  • Add onions and cook until they are translucent.

  • Add bacon and cook throughout.

  • Add watercress, potatoes, and stock.

  • Bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

  • Use an emulsifier whisk, and blend until smooth.

  • If you do not have an emulsifier whisk:

  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.

  • Ladle into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

  • Return the mixture to the saucepan.

  • Add salt and pepper.

  • Blend in cream and adjust seasonings before serving.


  • Reserve a few of the leafy tops of the watercress and use them as a soup garnish.

  • Want a vegan meal? Remove the bacon, substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth, and substitute the dairy products with non-dairy alternatives.

  • Leaving the skins on your potatoes makes for a heartier soup with additional fiber and vitamins. Just be sure to clean thoroughly.

  • Make your meal watercress themed! Serve sashimi or poke over a bed of watercress for added flavor and crunch. Add watercress to your kālua pork to add some greens to this course and increase your servings.

Duke’s Waikīkī Kālua Pork Sandwich with Watercress

For these recipes, check out our previous Island Style Innovations “Tips From Tats”: