Nettle Soup

Nettle Soup recipe

Nettle soup, a delightful and nutritious dish, is a perfect way to embrace the abundance of nature. Nettles, often seen as a pesky weed, are in fact a powerhouse of nutrients. Rich in vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, nettles offer numerous health benefits. They are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, support for kidney function, and ability to alleviate allergies.

Before diving into the recipe, it’s essential to properly prepare nettles to enjoy their benefits safely. Start by thoroughly cleaning the nettles—rinsing them well in water to remove any dirt or insects. To neutralize their sting, you need to parboil them. This process involves boiling the nettles on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. After boiling, rinse them in cold water and squeeze out as much water as possible. This step ensures the nettles are safe to eat and retain their nutritional value.

For year-round enjoyment of nettles' health benefits, consider freezing or drying them. You can freeze parboiled nettles, which makes them convenient for later use in soups and stews. Alternatively, dry the nettles and grind them into a fine powder. This powder can be sprinkled over breakfast cereals, mixed into smoothies, or added to salads for a nutritional boost.

With these preparation tips in mind, let's dive into a wonderful nettle soup recipe that showcases the earthy, rich flavors of this versatile plant.

Ingredients

  • 2 l freshly picked nettles
  • 1 l of water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 chicken stock cubes or vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 dl cream
  • 3 tbsp dry sherry (optional)
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 4 boiled egg halves for serving

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Rinse the nettles thoroughly, remove any roots and rough parts.
  2. In a pot or Dutch oven, boil half of the water and lightly salt. Add in the nettles, in batches as they collapse, cook 5 minutes. Strain the cooking water and save it.
  3. Finely chop the nettles.
  4. Melt butter in a pot and stir in  flour and next add the nettle spade. Crumble the bouillon cubes and add the rest of the water. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the nettles and the cream. Season the soup with salt and possibly a little sherry (optional).
  6. Serve the soup hot with egg cut in half. Garnish with chives.
nettles in the wild
nettles
nettles in an enameled cast iron dutch oven
nettle soup in an enameled cast iron dutch oven
nettle soup with boiled eggs
hand holding plate with nettle soup

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