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Nettle soup

Forage for stinging nettles and wild garlic then reap the rewards in this vibrant soup packed full of nutrients, minerals and vitamins
Nettle soup

James Wood of Totally Wild UK shares his recipe for nettle soup

totallywilduk.co.uk

Nettles, those spiky green plants that often cause a prickly surprise, are not just pesky weeds; they’re a treasure trove of nutrients and culinary versatilityas you’ll discover in this nettle soup,’ says James. ‘Now is the time to gather them, and you’ll find some particularly massive leaves and luscious shoots in the South West.’

Nettles can be transformed into a variety of delicious and nutritious dishes. Blanch in boiling water for a few minutes to neutralise the sting and soften the leaves, then add to soups, salads, pesto and even stir‑fry dishes. Nettles can also be dried and powdered for tea or added to smoothies.

Identify nettles by their triangular leaves, with serrated edges and prominent veins, arranged in an alternate pattern on the stem. The most distinguishing feature, of course, is the presence of stinging hairs. Wear gloves and look for young nettles with tender stems. Read on for James’ nettle soup recipe.

Serves    4

Potatoes 2 large, peeled and chopped
Celery 2, chopped
Vegetable stock 1.5l
Onions 2, peeled and diced
Wild garlic stalks 50g, finely chopped (alternatively, use two peeled garlic cloves)
Leeks 2, chopped
Stinging nettle leaves 200g, blanched in boiling water
Single cream to serve

  1. Boil the potatoes and celery in vegetable stock for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, fry the onion, leek, wild garlic and nettles for 2 minutes.
  3. Combine everything in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  4. Serve with a swirl of cream and some salt and pepper.

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You will need

Potatoes 2 large, peeled and chopped
Celery 2, chopped
Vegetable stock 1.5l
Onions 2, peeled and diced
Wild garlic stalks 50g, finely chopped (alternatively, use two peeled garlic cloves)
Leeks 2, chopped
Stinging nettle leaves 200g, blanched in boiling water
Single cream to serve

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes and celery in vegetable stock for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, fry the onion, leek, wild garlic and nettles for 2 minutes.
  3. Combine everything in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  4. Serve with a swirl of cream and some salt and pepper.
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Potatoes 2 large, peeled and chopped
Celery 2, chopped
Vegetable stock 1.5l
Onions 2, peeled and diced
Wild garlic stalks 50g, finely chopped (alternatively, use two peeled garlic cloves)
Leeks 2, chopped
Stinging nettle leaves 200g, blanched in boiling water
Single cream to serve

  1. Boil the potatoes and celery in vegetable stock for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, fry the onion, leek, wild garlic and nettles for 2 minutes.
  3. Combine everything in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  4. Serve with a swirl of cream and some salt and pepper.

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