Quick note: For those of you with questions about the “A Nourished Start“Breakfast Carnival that I will be hosting not this Friday but the next, I’ve updated the page to answer your questions.
Once you have harvested wild nettles, you have to do something with them! I decided to make the classic nettle soup. A simple soup made from potatoes, broth, onion and garlic, and, of course, nettles combine into a creamy soup with a subtle nettle overtone. Simple, nourishing and delicious too!
What do nettles taste like? It’s hard to say! I am sure that it can vary , but the ones we just picked were very mild. In this soup, though I packed a lot of nettles in, we felt it was pretty subtle. My husband said you never felt like you could fully taste the flavor. Right when you thought you could fully experience the flavor, it would elude you. I would say that this soup would taste very similar if made with spinach, but that nettles add their own tang to it. It almost tasted like the soup had a sprinkle of lemon juice added to it.
Regardless, nettles are wonderful for their nutritional profile, and this simple soup hits the spot. I carefully dumped my nettles (stems and all) into my salad spinner to wash and dry, and then carefully, using a kitchen towel to help me, picked up a nettle stem and transferred it to a cutting board to cut off the leaves. If you have kitchen gloves, this whole process will be much easier.
To ratio of potatoes to nettles is completely up to you. I packed a lot of nettles in, and it tasted great! But you could use less, if that’s all you had. If you would like, you could add a few dashes of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for more flavor and tang. I am sure there are a lot of ways to dress this basic soup up!
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through the garlic press
Olive oil or coconut oil
8 cups of broth (I used chicken broth)
4-6 potatoes, peeled and cubed (more potatoes- thicker and more creamy, less-thinner)
6-8 cups of packed and washed nettle leaves
1-In a large soup pot, heat the oil until hot, and add the onion. Sprinkle a little salt over it and saute until the onion starts to soften (about 5-7 minutes). Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two more.
2-Add the broth and potatoes and bring to a simmer, turn down heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. (If using homemade broth, I also like to salt it a bit at this stage too).
3-Now add the nettles leaves, and cook for about five more minutes. You can just mash up the soup a bit with the back of a wooden spoon for a rustic soup, or you can puree it into a smooth soup (which we did and prefer). For those who can have dairy, finishing this soup off with some cream would be great too. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.