How to make your own foraged nettle soup

Stinging nettles thrive in fertile soils and, as a result are packed full of nutrients, providing vitamin C, A and B vitamins, plus a range of minerals including potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium and iron.

Nature’s own multi vitamin and mineral and a perfect spring tonic! This is nutritionist Belinda Blake’s favourite nettle soup recipe and is based on one originally published by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall…

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • About ½ carrier bag full of nettle tops (approx. 150-200g)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled chopped
  • 1 large leek, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped (or a small handful of washed, chopped ransom leaves)
  • 2 tbsp white basmati rice
  • 1 litre good quality vegetable or chicken stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 6 tbsp plain live yoghurt or kefir
  • 1 small bunch chives, finely chopped

Method

  1. Wash the nettles well, pat dry and remove any tough stems (wearing gloves!).
  2. Gently heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, leek, celery and garlic. Cover the pan and allow the vegetables to soften for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (you don’t want these to brown).
  3. Add the rice and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Next, add the nettles (and ransom leaves if you are using them) into the stock whilst stirring, then allow to simmer for about five minutes or until the rice and the nettles are tender.
  5. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Purée the soup and check the seasoning, before ladling into bowls and decorating with a swirl of yoghurt, or kefir, and a sprinkling of chives.


For more from Belinda, who studied at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, visit the website

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Lynda Hamilton Parker is a Scottish PR expert and independent publisher

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