Nettle soup

As I wandered down to check on the sheep this morning a vast expanse of stinging nettles growing out of control caught my eye. Waist high they stretched for hundreds of yards. For a brief moment I wondered, ‘what are we going to do with them!’ The sheep are clearly not interested in them, having acquired a taste for brambles and yellow flowers, which I am still trying to identify (common broomweed maybe).

The wilderness here is an ever present challenge, especially as the sheep roam freely and there are many hazards, particularly the fast growing brambles. Still, I was preoccupied with a myriad of other tasks and thought no more about it. Just another thing added to my mental ‘to do’ list, which fades into infinity.

Later that day I was looking at YouTube videos on how to make meringue and came across one video on nettle soup. WOW! I thought that could be the answer. There are enough stinging nettles to start a nettle soup factory. I had heard about nettle soup but it was the sort of thing no sane person would make these days when you can buy a nice carton of asparagus soup at the supermarket. Nevertheless nettle soup seemed to have a lot going for it and not just because it was virtually free. It was supposed to taste very good and came with lots of goodness, such as vitamin C.

nettle-soup

I decided I had to try it and promptly returned to the stinging nettles to harvest some for a soup. Meanwhile I had learned that springtime was best time and to only pick the young top leaves and avoid flowering plants. Well, it’s almost summer now and most plants had begun to form flower buds. I may have been a week or two late but with such a large crop it was not difficult to find enough young leaves for the soup. I returned with a bucket full, picked out the smaller leaves and put them into a bowl of water to which I added a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

I then followed (loosely) the YouTube recipe: YouTube video (Atomic shrimp)

  • Sauté chopped onions in butter or olive oil,
  • Dice two potatoes
  • Boil vegetable/chicken stock and add diced potatoes and onions
  • Once potatoes are almost done add washed nettles.
  • Cook for a further 5-10 minutes
  • Puree
  • Add whatever you fancy, I added some leftover whipped cream, but sour cream, milk, non dairy products could also be used.

This recipe used the potatoes as the thickener but a roux could be used instead or corn flour.

Verdict: It was great! Three further portions went into the freezer and tomorrow I will have one and take a photo of it for this post, which I forgot to do today.

I made a cheese souffle today to follow the soup …

cheese-soufflee

Apologies for the formatting on this page. WordPress have introduced a new interface called ‘Block’ (exciting name) which as usual is a pain to use, never does what you want it to and screws up everything you have done.

They call it progress! These programmers need to do a course in ergonomics instead of spending all their time with their heads buried in code language.

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