Nettle soup may not be for the faint hearted but it is in fact a superfood containing high levels of iron, potassium, vitamins C and D and chlorophyll making it your go to for anaemia, respiratory problems and even hay fever. We foraged and cooked with Alex Richards as she donned her long sleeves, trousers and rubber gloves and enjoyed the fruits of our labours in her super camper van.
Half a carrier bagful of stinging nettle tops (the top 4-6 leaves of non flowering plants – after flowering, the leaves contain insoluble carbonate crystals that build up in the kidneys and are hard to flush from the body)
1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped, leek, celery or whatever you have in the fridge
1tsp ground cumin
Grated fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few drops of extra-virgin olive oil
Wearing rubber gloves, sort through the nettles, discarding any thick stalks. Wash the nettles and drain in a colander.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 5-7 minutes until softened.
Add the stock, nettles, potato, carrot, cumin and a really good grating of nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the potato is soft, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Using an electric hand-held stick blender, purée the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into warmed bowls and swirl in a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil
You can join Alex on one of her Isle of Wight foraging courses by booking on her website: HERE