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Nettle Soup

Was halfway through this post when my computer crashed…… AGAIN.  Getting so sick of seeing that blue screen of death 🙁  Anyway, back to it.

I’ve spent my Easter holidays in Cork, dog-sitting Tosca and Bear, two of the loveliest dogs in Ireland!  Because the weather was so good, we’ve been doing a lot of walking in the field, and it was there that Tosca brought me to a lovely patch of fresh, young nettles.  On our next walk, I brought a pair of scissors and a pair of rubber gloves and picked a lovely bunch.

I remember, when I was young, my father used to make nettle soup and it stands out as one of the most delicious things.  Initially, I was reluctant to try it because I was worried that I’d sting my mouth.  Luckily, cooking the nettles removes the sting.

After consulting Rachel Allen’s Home Cooking for a recipe, I de-stalked the nettles and was ready to go.  To make two generous bowls of Nettle Soup, you need:

  • a bunch of nettles – destalked & chopped.  (I couldn’t tell you exactly how much – about 10 stalks)
  • a good-sized knob of butter
  • a medium sized onion, chopped
  • a medium sized potato, chopped into small cubes
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 300ml of full fat milk
  • Salt and pepper

And the method is dead simple and quick.  Simply fry the onion and potato in the butter, seasoned with salt and pepper for 8-10 minutes (lid on).  When the onions and potato are soft, pour the stock and milk into the pot and bring to the boil.  Add the nettles  and cook uncovered on a high heat for a minute or two.  Don’t cook them for long as they’ll lose their greenness.  Remove from the heat and whizz it up with a hand blender.  Yummy greeny goodness! 

And photos of Tosca and Bear:

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