Monday, May 19, 2014

Foraging for Nettles

Nettles popped up in our garden a while back. I was delighted as they are apparently very nourishing. This morning I decided to make nettle and potato soup, a variation on the one in Roots, Shoots and Leaves by Bernadette Le Roux. Wearing gloves, I picked a handful of the stinging weed, then washed and chopped them, ready for cooking.

A knob of Rosie's butter 
Only one too young leek because I have run out of onions and I shouldn't be picking the leeks yet. 
4-6 potatoes from storage, little shoots removed, peeled and chopped
Some stock - I used lamb stock made from a roast bone, but any stock will do. 
A handful of young nettle leaves, picked with kitchen gloves on. I would have picked more, but that was all there was in my garden and I did not feel like walking down to the old barn.  where I have seen them growing before. 

Gently sauté the leek in the butter. Add the potatoes and cover them with stock. Boil lightly until the potatoes are tender.
Add the nettles and simmer gently until just wilted. Purée the soup and stir in a generous glug of cream to thin the soup. Season to taste. 

Serve garnished with wild rocket flowers alongside toasted buttermilk bread and cream cheese with chives. Enjoy your lunch on the warm verandah looking towards the distant Maluti Mountains.

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