How could anything this healthy be so totally delicious? Nettle soup has a growing fan base across the country and for good reason. Nettle leaf is delicately flavored and cooks to a smooth silky texture. The prickly little needles are completely gone. No other vegetable in our experience provides the texture that nettle does. And around here the flavor is just a great bonus: my grandson Frederick who boycotts all “green” food will eat nettle soup because he sees a direct connection between eating the soup and fighting his seasonal allergies. (Find a powerful before/after discussion here.)
Use a flavorful rich chicken bone broth to complement the nettle and you have a luscious soup. With just a bit of seasoning, you could stop there or you could go for a richer soup experience by adding heavy cream. Cream and green make a perfect marriage. The cream mellows the green and brings out a bit of sweetness.
If you are going to enjoy this soup, you will probably have to collect your own nettle. It’s rare to ever find nettle for sale, even in the farmers’ markets.
Stinging nettle is a very nutritious plant. In James Duke’s Handbook of Medicinal Herbs he lists many benefits including alleviating:
It is also simply a mild and delicious green that is often available in your own backyard, for free!
The recipe that follows is a starting point — change it to suit your own tastes. You may like more or less greens. We have made soup so dense with greens that the greens were the thickening as well as the flavor. That’s a lot of green!
It is also a lot of nutrition. Eat a green soup like this for a few days in a row and you will experience a fine boost in energy and sense of well-being.
Are you persuaded? Here’s how to do it.
This soup freezes well if not a cream version. The texture of cream can get weird when frozen.
Just for fun: Identifying and harvesting stinging nettle. Some really helpful how-to in a 10 minutes by the Green Deane at Eat the Weeds
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