Nettle Soup

Running, well walking, today I could not help noticing the lush green verges.  And so I decided to make Nettle Soup, not only for me, but for Alresford Country Market too.  It will be an interesting experiment as I think not many people will buy it, imagining that a stinging nettle could not be made into anything palatable.  But it can.  Once the nettles are wilted in boiling water the stinging hairs are history, and all you are left with is a mild spinach-like fibre rich green.

Pick only the top 2 or 4 leaves with a gardening or kitchen glove on.  Pinch the top two leaves between your fingers and pull.  If the whole stalk comes out of the ground just stand on the root and pinch off the tender top growth.

Makes 2 litres (Serves 6)
1 mixing bowl/half a carrier bag of nettle tops
1 large potato
1 large onion
1 large garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
2 vegetable or chicken stock cube
1 litre boiled water

Soak the nettle tops in a bowl of water whilst you peel and roughly chop the garlic and onion, and roughly chop the potato.

Gently soften the onion and garlic in a saucepan with the olive oil for a few minutes then add the potato.  Rinse the nettles and wash again, just like spinach, and remove with a slotted spoon into the saucepan.  Add the stock cube and water, bring to the boil, then simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.

Blitz with a sticker blender and serve.