Spring is the season for stinging nettles – and stinging nettle soup. Foraging for the main ingredient is half the fun!
This is not a food blog and I’m definitely no expert cook, so I don’t post recipes very often. However, if preparing a meal can be turned into a fun outdoor activity with the kids, I’m usually game. Besides, my recent recipe for making Bread on a Stick seemed like it went over really well, so I’ll continue to post my culinary ventures from time to time. What better way to connect children with nature than to forage for your food in the wild?
My mom is a bit of a health nu, so I grew up eating anything from algae-infused whole wheat pancakes to salads made of dandelion greens. And – of course – stinging nettle soup. Stinging nettles are chock-full of nutrients and also have a wide range of benefits as medicinal plants, according to Mother Earth News. Pick them while they’re young and tender – if they’ve already flowered it’s too late. Use scissors to cut the leaves off the top 5 inches of the plant and leave the stems – it will save you from sorting out the stems later. (You’re welcome. I didn’t think of this and ended up suffering a few burns while handling the nettles on the chopping block.)
The woods behind our house are littered with nettles, so I asked the girls if they wanted to come pick some with me. I didn’t need to ask twice! We all put on gloves and went to work. In hind sight, wearing long sleeves would’ve been a good idea but we didn’t get stung too badly.
Since I didn’t have a recipe I decided to wing it. This is what I came up with:
Stinging Nettle Soup
Makes 4 small servings
1 Tbsp butter
1 yellow onion
5 green onions
1 lb (450 g.) nettles
3-4 cups (7-9.5 dl) water
1 tsp vegetable bouillon
1/2 cup (1 dl) heavy whipping cream
pepper and herbal salt to taste
4 hard-boiled eggs
How to do it:
- Rinse the nettles and chop them up
- Chop the onions and sautée them in the butter
- Add the nettles and stir for a couple of minutes
- Add water a little bit at a time. If you like thick and creamy soups, use less of it. If you prefer thin soups, you can use more
- Add bouillon, heavy whipping cream and salt and pepper
- Let simmer until soft, approx. 10-15 min.
- Use a stick blender or regular blender to purée the soup
- Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and put two halves in each bowl of soup, and serve
I liked this soup so much that I’ll be going back for more nettles soon! Have you ever tried to eat nettles?