Nettle soup recipe

As with most things in nature that which is desirable has some fearsome protective mechanism keeping hoarders at bay. I am sure most people have felt the annoying pain that is assosiated with nettles, usually as a child in summer unwittingly running around the wilds with bare legs.
I remember a story my father told me while he was working in a field as a a boy. After being caught short and having to relieve himself in the field he reached for a large leaf to wipe his backside but unknowingly picked up a nettle also. Wiping your backside with a nettle and my fathers description of the pain seeded a deep fear of this unremarkably looking plant into my heart which still plays on my mind.
So when it was apparent that I would have to confront this phobia in order to make nettle soup I done what a man needed to do......and got his daughter and nephews to pick the nettles for him!

Unfortunately the protective bags for picking were not as protective as I thought!

Nettle soup recipe:

What you need:

  • Nettle tops (enough to fill a pint glass or two)
  • Butter (1 oz)
  • Oatmeal (1 oz.)
  • water or stock (vegetable 1 pint)
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Wash nettles in several changes of cold water
  2. Chop finely of mince (as i did in masticating careful with pronouncing that particular word!)
  3. Melt butter in pot and fry oatmeal until golden brown
  4. Stir in water or stock and bring to boil while stirring
  5. Add nettles, salt and pepper and bring to boil again
  6. Lower heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes

I was not overly impressed by this considering the ordeal required to get the ingredients. Perhaps milk would have been a better substitute for stock/water. I added a little cream to top of nettle soup which made it more pleasant (incidentally making an image of a 6 legged goat, something with horns to represent the danger)

I can understand that in times gone by in Ireland, food was scarce and nettles abundant so nettle soup was a bound to be popular but it is not my cup of tea (I like nettle tea though....). It is also extremely nutritious and would give you a real health boost if you made a regular thing of it. I was told that there is a similar dish in Portugal but am unaware if it is from nettles or another weed.

Many doc leaves were harmed in the making of this recipe

1 comment:

  1. Hi John, I've just come on your nettle soup - a regular famine soup except for that fine bit of fried oatmeal. An onion is a must for any soup and a couple of cloves of garlic wouldn't go amiss. Then you have a soup fit for a king (or queen). You might also warn readers never to use nettles with flower tops - guaranteed to loosen the nether workings. Now I'm off to check out your carrageen recipe which brought me via google to your page.