Nettle Soup | Recipe
Packed full of nutritious goodness, nettles are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, chlorophyll, iron, potassium, calcium and silica. It is not surprising then to learn that over the centuries they have been used in herbal medicine for their tonic properties in anaemia, debility, convalescence and weakness. They would make any superfood list, and yet they are freely available for the picking.
Aside from their nutritive use, nettles have also been used as a diuretic, to stimulate breast milk production and to reduce the flow of heavy periods. Nettles are often found in herbal formulas for skin conditions, inflammatory joint conditions and for allergies such as hayfever.
Fresh nettles contain several constituents that can significantly irritate the skin, thus the name stinging nettle, so be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling the fresh plant. Once added to the soup, the irritant action is neutralised fairly quickly.
The best time for gathering is early Spring, taking only the tops of the young nettles prior to flowering and before the stems become too fibrous. The leaves can be dried for later use as nettle tea, so don’t worry about picking too much. A good bagful is usually enough.
1tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic minced or to taste
3-4 medium size potatoes, cubed
1-2 litre (to cover ingredients) water or stock of choice
2 bay leaves
5-6 handfuls nettles
Salt and pepper to taste
Add a little cumin for added flavour
Swirl of Cream for taste (optional)
1. Melt the oil in a pan and add onion. Sauté until translucent
2. Add garlic and potatoes, continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes
3. Add water and bay leaves (cumin, salt and pepper as you would like)
4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and slowly simmer until the potatoes are almost ready.
5. Remove bay leaves.
6. Add nettles and continue to simmer for 5 mins
7. Using a stick blender, puree the soup
8. Season to preference
9. Add a swirl of cream if you would like
Enjoy! For more on the Spring Cleanse and Detoxification click here
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