I love foraging and right now the stinging nettles in our garden are just starting to grow. It’s the perfect time to clip the young top clusters of leaves and make nettle soup, full of iron and green goodness. Be sure to wear some gloves and carefully clip the clusters with a pair of scissors into a bowl (note: make sure the nettles haven’t started to produce grey-white flower buds). This recipe is dead easy and nettles are full of nutrition, and perfect after a long walk in the countryside in winter.
(serves 3 people)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 large bowl of nettle tops
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large handful of spinach
4 Tbs butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1-2 Tbs vegetable bouillon
1 liter fresh water
Ground black pepper
1. Put on a pair of washing-up gloves so you don’t get stung. Wash the nettles and drain in a colander. Remove all tough stalks and woody bits.
2. Melt the butter (or oil) in a medium saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 5–7 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, nettles and spinach leaves and saute an additional 2 minutes.
3. Add the water, bouillon, potato and carrot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer gently until the potato and carrot is soft, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat. Using an electric hand-held stick blender, roughly puree the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with some fresh bread.