Nettle and Wild Garlic Soups - let's be nice to nettles
Be nice to nettles week runs from 16th - 20th May, to promote nettles and all their benefits. We caught up with our trustee and garden opener, Trish Kennedy to chat about the benefits of nettles and wild garlic, to encourage you to let the odd nettle through in the garden, and she kindly shared her soup recipes!
Trish, what are the benefits of nettles?
Urtica diocia, or the common stinging nettle, helps to control blood sugar – especially useful to diabetics. It can treat disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract and can provide relief of water retention and can prevent or treat diarrhoea. Also said to stimulate hair growth and promote lactation!
Not a bad thing to have growing at the bottom of the garden, and what about wild garlic?
Wild Garlic, also known as Allium ursinum or Ramsons, can neutralise free radical activity – this can lower risk of cancer and other chronic diseases such as: heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stomach upset/acid reflux, anaemia and amnesia!
Therefore, Wild Garlic Soup and Nettle Soup separately or combined are souper good for you!
Ha ha, I see what you did there! Wow - what a lot of benefits!
A carrier bag of nettle tips (use rubber gloves to pick!)
1 large potato chopped
1 large onion chopped
2 tbsp oil
2 large garlic cloves
2 pints stock (chicken or veg) or milk
Salt and pepper
Crème fraiche to serve (optional)
Blanch the washed garlic leaves for a few seconds, refresh in cold water. You can skip this bit, but the soup will not have the wonderful vibrant green colour. Bring the milk close to boiling and add the wild garlic, leave to infuse until cool. Heat the butter and gently cook onion until translucent, add chopped potatoes and garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add milk mix and seasoning and cook for approx 15 minutes, when potatoes are soft, blitz in food processor or with a wand. Check seasoning before serving.
For lactose intolerant use stock (I use chicken) instead of milk.
Wild Garlic Soup
A carrier bag of wild garlic leaves and flowers (I include stems)
200ml chick or veg stock
1 med onion
2 or 3 med potatoes
4 – 6 garlic cloves chopped
Crème fraiche or cream to serve (optional)
Salt and pepper
Wash nettle tips and blanche for 30 seconds, refresh in cold water and chop. You can skip this, but the soup will not have a vibrant green colour. Cook onion until translucent then add potato and chopped garlic cloves and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add stock and blanched nettles and simmer for 20 mins or until potates are soft, add salt and pepper and blitz in food processor or with a wand. Check seasoning before serving with crème fraiche on the side.
I sometimes use a mixture of Ramsons and Nettles in either of these recipes which makes a delicious healthy soup too.