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Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup

A fresh and delicious combination, this soup is my go to for a little comfort on rainy Spring days. Using only a handful of ingredients, its a simple recipe with a unique flavour.


Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup with a wild garlic flower garnish

Nettles are rather unbelievably, one of the most nutrient dense plants on the planet. They have around 4x the amount of calcium than Spinach or Broccoli, and yet great time and money is spent on removing these misunderstood plants from parks and gardens. They are without a doubt, one of my favourite Spring time plants, or herbs, as they lend themselves so beautifully to so many different recipes, and have an incredible array of medicinal and nutritional benefits.


On their own they are a fresh, green side vegetable, or a dark addition to a stir-fry; the leaves can be used to make a powerful tea which is said to alleviate seasonal allergies, arthritic aches and pains, and helps flush out harmful bacteria from the body.


A patch of nettles

Undoubtedly, my favourite way to make use of this Spring herb, is to make a delicious, fresh green soup. I'm not usually a soup person outside of Autumn and Winter, but I make an exception for nettles - especially when paired with Wild Garlic, another one of Spring's abundant plants. Together they offer up a truly unique flavour which I look forward to every year.


A dense patch of wild garlic and their white flowers

Note: Generally speaking, Nettles aren't considered safe for consumption during the Summer months, when they come into flower as they can have a laxative effect and will contain cystolith crystals that can cause irritation to the urinary tract.

 


Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup


Nettles, about enough to fill a 1 litre storage box when compacted

A generous handful or two of Wild Garlic

1 small onion, diced

1 medium potato, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 tbsp butter

1.5l of vegetable stock


  1. In a large pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they have begun to soften.

  2. Add the potato and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes. You can add a little water to the pan if needed to stop it from sticking.

  3. Add the hot vegetable stock to the pan and bring to the boil.

  4. Carefully add the nettles to the pan, a little at a time, and mix to wilt them a little. Bring the pan back to a boil and cook for around 15, or until the potatoes are soft.

  5. Roughly chop the wild garlic, add it to the pan and mix to combine it all together.

  6. Remove from the heat and using a blender or hand blender, carefully blend until smooth.

  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with warm bread.



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The Cramlington Forager

Here I share my own recipes which I use to make the most of seasonal wild food. You'll find handy foraging guides and plant profiles to help get to know the plants which grow all around us, and to start you down your own foraging journey.

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