In the paper, the extended finite element method (XFEM) is combined with a recovery procedure in the analysis of the discontinuous Poisson problem. The model considers the weak as well as the strong discontinuity. Computationally efficient low-order finite elements provided good convergence are used. The combination of the XFEM with a recovery procedure allows for optimal convergence rates in the gradient i.e. as the same order as the primary solution. The discontinuity is modelled independently of the finite element mesh using a step-enrichment and level set approach. The results show improved gradient prediction locally for the interface element and globally for the entire domain.