Friday, 23 March 2007


Photo: A home grown onion goes well with nettle soup.

Its nettle time again! I know I mention this every year, but nettles really signify the start of the spring growth. For wildlife and a foliar feed in the garden, nettles prove to be invaluable although they can be a bit of a nuisance as they are very vigorous and stingy. Why not try getting your own back then and make a fabulous nettle soup out of the new growth. I usually just make it with water but I got hold of a new recipe that looks to be of interest, you could substitute the Soya milk for double cream if you wanted!

Don't worry - they don't sting when cooked! Nettles are very nutrient rich and of course - free! Don't gather them beside a busy road where they will have been contaminated by traffic fumes. If you keep cutting them from springtime you get a regular supply of fresh leaves, though they can get a bit insect infested during the summer!

2 tablespoons of vegetable margarine or oil
2 tablespoons of white flour
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
Freshly picked and washed young nettles (several good handfuls - picked with gloves and caution!)
2 cups soya milk.
1 cup water or stock
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil or margarine for a few minutes then stir in the nettles (no need to chop or remove stalks) until they soften. Stir in the flour and gradually add the soya milk and water or stock, stirring all the time. Add seasonings and liquidise. Delicious.

Environmental., Horticultural.

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