NETTLE - Urtica dioica / urens
Nettles are mineral rich, containing calcium, Iron, and silicon along with other vitamins, it is such a fantastic herb with many properties, and is a popular blood tonic remedy used by many herbalists.
As Nettle is one of the first herbs to appear in spring it is a great way to start your spring clean....
As a food source Nettles can be eaten and cooked in the same way as spinach, but better than this is to make a tasty soup. This soup is to be savoured, as only the Freshly picked Spring Nettle tops are good for this recipe.
1/2 a cloth tote bag of Fresh Spring Nettle Tops
55g / 2oz butter or olive oil
1 large or 2 medium onions finely sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 large clove of garlic crushed /( I use wild garlic
as a substitute when I come across it at the same time (so that would be a small handful of leaf of Ramsons (wild garlic))
1 litre / 2 pints good chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 medium potato diced
Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Thoroughly wash the Nettle Tops. Discard only the toughest stalks as the soup will be liquidised. Melt the butter in a large pan and sweat the onions, carrots and garlic (but not the wild garlic if using instead), until brown, Add stock and nettles, potato & wild garlic at this stage. Bring to the boil and simmer until nettles are tender and potato soft. Season with salt and Pepper and nutmeg if you wish. Liquidise the soup in a blender or Nutri- bullet (allow to cool a little before using a nutri as can pop seals (with experience)). If wanting to eat straight away return to clean pan just to bring back to temperature. To serve you may like to add a little cream or crème fraiche at this stage.
This soup freezes well so can allow to cool the freeze in batches for another day.