Nettle Soup

Posted 12 June 2013 by

I think it’s always fun to cook with free food taken from the garden, and especially food you have foraged from the hedgerow. Stinging nettles are versatile and can be used where you would use spinach or other greens. They are very nutritious, containing decent amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K. After the success of my nettle and thyme bread, I decided to try nettle soup. It tasted good — nettle doesn’t have a very strong taste; it’s quite earthy I suppose, and not dissimilar to spinach.

Nettle soup

The best nettle leaves to use are the young, tender ones, and avoid the leaves from plants that have already flowered. It goes without saying that nettles bite back, so you need to wear gloves to protect yourself while picking them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • generous bunch of nettle leaves (I used about 50 g)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 leek
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper

Chop the onions, garlic, leek and celery and gently fry in the oil over a low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Cut up the nettle leaves (either use gloves to protect your hands, or blanch in boiling water first, to remove the sting. Add the nettle leaves and stock, and bring to the boil. Add the chopped potato, thyme, salt and pepper and reduce the heat. Simmer until the potato is cooked through. Blend if desired and serve with some crusty bread.

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