Nettles Make Beautiful Soup!

comments (0) April 29th, 2017

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Nettle soup is as tasty as it is nutritious. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
One needs to wear gloves when handling nettles as they do have a long-lasting sting. I wear them to harvest and and to remove the leaves from the stems.
Saute the root vegetables with some celery first: onion or leek, potatoes, carrots, garlic, maybe a beet.
Once you have added the stock and simmered the veggies until tender, add the stemmed nettles.
Wilt the nettles and taste for seasoning. The soup can be eaten as is, or pureed--part of it or all of it--depending upon what texture you want.
Nettle soup is as tasty as it is nutritious. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Click To Enlarge

Nettle soup is as tasty as it is nutritious. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.

Photo: susan belsinger

There are so many wonderful things about spring--and it delights me to have fresh, mineral-rich and vitamin-laden green herbs pop up for us to bring into the kitchen and make those seasonal dishes that we can't have the rest of the year. Nettles are a favorite of mine, and while I quite savor a nettle spanakopita and a salsa verde made with nettle, chickweed, dandelion, and sorrel or oxalis--nettle soup is a great comfort food besides being a spring tonic. 

Instrcutions for Making Soup:

I do not adhere to a strict recipe--I use what I have on hand or what I feel like. Start with a knob of unsalted butter and a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat over medium heat and add a chopped onion or 2 chopped leeks and saute for a few minutes.

Add 2 to 3 medium-size potatoes, chopped. Stir and saute a few minutes and add 2 stalks celery and 2 carrots, chopped. Stir, cover and sweat for a few minutes.

This last soup that I made, I had some steamed golden beets, so I chopped a large one and added it to the pot (I never did this before however it was quite nice).

I usually add a fresh bayleaf to most soups and I used about 5 or 6 cloves of minced garlic and a couple teaspoons of seaweed flakes. Stir the contents of the pot and add about 6 cups of vegetable stock, cover and bring just to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until veggies are tender.

Add 4 to 6 cups nettles leaves, cover and wilt them for a few minutes. Taste for seasoning and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, along with a pinch or two of cayenne pepper and perhaps 6 or 8 drops of bitters.

Stir well, adjust seasoning if necessary and serve as is, or puree part or all of the soup with a immersion (stick) blender. I prefer to have at least half to three-quarters of the soup pureed. Serve hot; it is quite good made in advance.

An option is to add 1 cup of whipping cream to the soup when blending it; it makes for a rich soup. If you don't have nettles, try some other mixed spring greens from the garden: chickweed, dandelion, sorrel, spinach, chard or cress.

Enjoy a lovely bowl of spring soup soon!

posted in: nettles, Nettles Make Beautiful Soup!, spring soup