Stinging Nettle Soup
This is a perfect summer soup made with fresh nettles and roasted vegetables. Today was cool and rainy, the best kind of day to make summer soup. The day before, when it was warm and sunny, I had gathered some fresh nettle tips. The tender young leaves at the top are delicious plus harvesting them will ensure that the plant will continue to grow. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the sting. I’ll admit, I forgot my gloves this time and wore two layers of extra socks I had in my car! Why nettle you ask?
Nettle is a nutrient-dense plant full of much needed vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are most likely missing from our modern day diets. She is a powerful source of calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin K, carotenoids, and protein. These nutrients can help restore health in a variety of ways. Due to the mineral content of this plant, nettle is a great choice when trying to strengthen bones, hair, nails, and teeth. She gives us energy and is a reliable way to boost iron levels. As herbalist David Hoffman would say, “When in doubt, choose nettle.” So we’re choosing nettle today!
During the harvesting season, I always try to eat what’s in my yard and growing locally to ensure I get the freshest, most nutrient dense food possible. Always remember to gather plants from a place free of chemicals, sprayed fertilizers, busy roads, and all that bad stuff. My plan is to freeze the soup and enjoy it this fall or winter when this powerhouse plant is needed. Anyway, let’s get to the recipe because that’s why we’re here!
Stinging Nettle Soup Recipe
2 T olive oil
1 bunch of asparagus
8 garlic cloves
1/2 large white onion sliced
Harvest 2-3 cups fresh stinging nettle (1 cup dried nettle)*
3 T butter, melted
6 cups broth
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional, whole yogurt or sour cream can be added as well as dairy free milk
Another idea is to add avocado to the soup when blending to give it a thicker consistency. I haven’t tried this yet but I will next time!
*When prepping nettle for a dish there are a few things you may want to consider. First, the stingers. You’ll either want to boil the leaves in water for 1-2 minutes, strain, and press liquid from leaves to remove the stingers or apply heat and wilt them in a saucepan. If you don’t do either, you will get a mouthful of sting (trust me!) The other thing to consider is insects. You may not see them at first but there are loads of little critters in the leaves. I’m personally not keen on eating loads of insects or murdering them in a steamy pot. If you’re the same, right after you harvest, lay the leaves out on a flat surface to allow the insects to escape. I’m sure we’re all eating bugs on a daily basis so what’s not a little extra protein?
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Toss the asparagus and garlic with 2 T olive oil and coat with salt and pepper. Roast the veggies in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
While the veggies are roasting, melt 3 T of butter in a soup pot, add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and soft.
Now it’s time to add the nettle greens to the pot, stir them in and cook until wilted.
Add the vegetable or bone broth and roasted veggies from the oven, and bring to a simmer for a few minutes.
Next, add your pot of deliciousness to a blender to puree the soup. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour into serving bowls. Now would be a good time to add your dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Garnish with chives, chickweed, wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, or whatever mighty green you have growing in your yard. Don’t tell your guests they’re eating stinging nettle until everyone is done! 🙂