My Mam jokes that this is 'Stone Soup' and she's not wrong. But that's the whole point of soup isn't it? Use up bits and bobs and pluck what you can from the garden. My lads surprised me a few years ago by absolutely loving this soup - I think they enjoyed shocking their friends a little too! I've played around with the recipe since and this is my favourite iteration of it. The health benefits of nettles are well known, but you don't have to take my word for it, check it out online for yourself.
Take care - obviously - when handling nettles. I use a pair of standard gloves under my gardening gloves for protection and it works for me.
Some recipes use oats (less of them) instead of potatoes. Personally, I prefer the humble spud. But if you've run out of spuds and you've oats in the cupboard, give it a whirl at home yourself. One thing we have now is time. And free ingredients are always welcome!
- Basket of washed baby nettle leaves (weighs about 50g, or approx. 1-1.5L of space)
- 2 onions or leeks or scallions, chives or some combination of these
- 5 potatoes (small-medium)
- 50-60g butter
- 1.5L of any stock
- Handful of thyme (washed)
- Handful of wild garlic (washed)
- Seasoning, cream if desired
- Peel and dice your potatoes.
- Put the butter in a large pot on a very gentle heat.
- Add the thyme, potatoes, chopped onions, chives, wild garlic, salt and pepper to the pot and stir to cover in butter. Leave on the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes.
- While you're waiting, get your protective gloves back on and chop the nettle leaves as finely as possible.
- Add the stock and stir.
- Add the nettles and stir.
- Keep on the low heat for an hour.
- Blitz it, ladel into bowls - add cream if you fancy it and serve!