Nettle Soup for 4
They say that revenge is sweet, but this dish is actually a much more wholesome and savoury affair. See my Stinging Nettles post for more on Nettles.
- About half a carrier bagful of nettle tops
- A decent knob of butter
- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- A clove or two of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- Wash the nettles (gloves on!) and drain in a colander, being sure to evict any creepy-crawlies that may have found their way into your hoard.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan with the oil over a medium heat, and throw in the onion and potato. I like to add a pinch of salt at this point to start to draw out the juices from the veg. Push these around the pan with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes, until the onion is juicy and translucent, and the edges of the potato have just started to soften. Don’t be afraid to turn the heat down a little if anything looks like it’s starting to catch. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the stock and the washed nettles (gloves!), bring to a simmer, and allow to gently bubble away until the potatoes are cooked (about 12-15 mins.)
- Liquidize, either with a regular blender and pour the soup back into the pan, or in the pan with a hand-held blender. Bring the soup back to a simmer and season to taste.
- Serve in warmed bowls with a hunk of buttered brown bread or toast on the side. At this stage you could even swirl in a little cream or yoghurt, if you liked, or add a few drops of Tabasco or olive oil. I have even been known to drop a soft-poached egg into the finished dish before serving. Or, as I have done here, you could even fry up a few mushrooms, wild or otherwise, and sit them on top for an added bit of autumnal bite. Exquisite.
I think everybody should try this soup at least once. It is thick, greedy, and surprisingly hearty for something so green and good for you. Try it once and you may even forgive those nettles for all their nasty stings; you may even thank them, for they have provided you with a sure and safe identification, a scrumptious supper, and a reconnection with your wild heart.