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Young Nettle Soup

One of my dad’s favorite stories to tell is the one where he and my mom are hiking in the woods and she went off to take a pee. A few moments later she starts yowling and he runs up to her only to find that she had squatted down in a HUGE patch of stinging nettles. So, from a young age I learned exactly what stinging nettle looked like, and how to avoid it.

nettles

Wild nettles growing.

In fact, stinging nettles have never been something I’ve seen as a friend, that is until I tried this delicious soup created by Emily Murphy, my host at the sheep farm I was staying at a few weeks ago in Ballymote Ireland. She adapted the recipe from one created by famous Irish cook Darina Allen (credit where credit is due) to be Paleo (and vegan) friendly. I have adapted it yet again to use locally sourced ingredients exclusively (but the vegan ingredients follow, so it caters to all sorts of diets.)

The nettles must be picked when they are young and tender, which is March/April in this part of Ireland. You also MUST use thick gloves when picking them to avoid getting stung, as the sting can create a nasty rash and lasts for days. Heating the nettles in water (or in this case broth) takes the sting out and makes it possible to eat. And oh how good it tastes! I was a nettle virgin before I tried this, and now I am a convert.

nettles2

Ingredients

1.5 oz butter (or oil, coconut would be good)

4 oz onion

5 oz white potatoes (or sweet potatoes for a slightly sweeter soup)

1 3/4 pints chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
5 oz young nettles
5 fl oz whole milk or cream (or coconut milk)
Directions
Melt the butter or heat the oil in a stock pot. Add the chopped onions and potato, toss, then sweat for 10 minutes. Add the stock and boil until the veggies are cooked. Add the washed and chopped nettles (remember gloves!) to the boiling liquid. Simmer for a 5 minutes then add the milk and liquidize using an immersion blender. Serve hot!
nettlesoup

 

 

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2 replies »

  1. Used to make the soup when I was younger and more nature-oriented:) Sour cream goes well with it, and some spring onions or chives. Thank you for sharing!

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