|Spring Nettle Soup - Image Credit An Irish Village Pantry|
I first learned about nettles from Do Chara in my Soup Recipes from the UK post, and most recently when I conducted a link rundown for St. Patrick's Day on The Huffington Post. Stinging nettles, as they are traditionally called, are a weed that is grown throughout Ireland that is also enjoyed in numerous dishes such as in soup. An Irish Village Pantry, who was also featured on Huff Post for her Ancient Irish Leek and Oatmeal Soup, recently shared with me this unique spring soup recipe that was created as an act of revenge of sorts after the wild-growing nettle plants took over her rose garden. In her post, she also recounts how her Great-Grandmother used to make this soup all the time who told the family about its rich nutritional properties like vitamins A and C, iron and even some protein.
Sheelagh's recipe is a great addition to try a new soup this spring, which includes onions, potatoes, stock, milk, creme fraiche, and of course the stinging nettles. Sheelagh also notes that those concerned about the nettles should take note the formic acid (what gives the nettles its sting) is killed through the cooking process but you should also wear gloves through out the preparation of the soup to avoid being stung. Enjoy!
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium potato chopped
250ml chicken / vegetable stock
60g young nettle tops
50ml cream / creme fraiche
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tsp butter
1 tsp rapeseed or olive oil
salt and pepper
Peel and chop the onion and potato. Put a small to medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat with the oil and butter. Add the chopped onion and potato and gently cook without color for 3 minutes.
In the meantime, wash the nettles in a colander using a fork - or wear gloves! Add the milk and stock to the onion and potato and cook for another five minutes or until soft. Add the nettles and parsley and cook for another two to three minutes until the nettles are wilted but still retaining a green color. Puree in a blender or food processor and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and garnish with cream or creme fraiche and crispy bacon bits or lardons.
To read more Irish recipes, please visit: An Village Pantry