Could a watercress soup made in Dorset help the NHS?

Could a watercress soup made in Dorset help the NHS?

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:08am 5th February 2020. (Updated at 5:00pm 6th February 2020)

A soup from Dorset business 'The Watercress Company' could help solve the NHS' battle with patient nutrition.

They have come up with a nutrient dense watercress soup, made exclusively from British ingredients.  

If initial trials at Dorset County Hospital (DCH) in Dorchester are successful, the company hopes to make the soup available across the NHS.

watercress soup

Tom Amery, MD of the Watercress Company explains:

“The importance of nutritious food for hospital patients has been discussed for years, with chefs such as Lloyd Grossman, Albert Roux, James Martin and, most recently, Prue Leith all supporting campaigns for its improvement.  

"We have developed a recipe for a nutrient dense watercress soup with high energy and protein levels that is rich in vitamins and minerals - literally what the doctor ordered!  

"It is easy to consume, tasty and, most importantly, it can be made within the existing financial constraints of the current daily meal budget provided to hospital catering teams.

The watercress used in the soup on trial has come from UK grown winter crop which is not currently sold as the leaf is larger and the stems are thicker, but this is perfect crop for being whizzed into a soup.


The soup was showcased yesterday (4 February) in a presentation to hospital staff.

'Why is watercress good for you?'

Watercress is high in:

  • Vitamin C contributing to the normal function of the immune system, iron absorption and reduces tiredness & fatigue.
  • Vitamin K contributing to normal blood clotting, and maintenance of normal bones.

Watercress is a source of:

  • Calcium contributing to normal muscle formation.
  • Iron contributing to the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin.
  • Folate contributing to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.
  •  Vitamin B6 contributing to normal psychological function.