Green & Leithy: Nettle Soup

Posted by in April's Magazine

Nettles are the bane of gardeners, berry foragers and anyone who’s ever taken an off road ramble. Their sting actually produces a histamine response reputedly good for muscle ache, but none of us will thank the stars for this little nugget of information when we get painfully stung. Anyway, nettles, they’re free, they’re good for you (containing high levels of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, B, C and D blah blah blah) and they’re delicious.

For the next few months, I’ll readily use nettle leaves in place of spinach. I could list a heap of recipes (our blog does that quite nicely) but the best way to showcase their subtly fantastic, peppery green, lovely flavour is the ol’ classic soup. Once you’ve gone through the arduous task of stripping the leaves from the stalks (a perfect job for someone offering to help in the kitchen) the dish itself comes together super quick. It’s one of those meals to really let your senses loose on, the smell of dappled undergrowth, the taste of newly grown shoots, the slight tingling of your reddened fingertips, mmm..


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 of a leek
  • 1 largepotato
  • 500ml boiled water
  • 1 bag of nettle leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Bouillon stock granules
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ground peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (coconut/olive etc.)

Remove nettle leaves from stalks with scissors; soak them in fresh water for 20 minutes then drain well. Heat the oil in a soup pan on a medium heat. Roughly chop the onion, leek, celery, potato and add to pan, cook for 5 minutes. Add the water, stock, and seasoning. Bring to the boil. Put in the nettles and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cook for 10-15 minutes until the potato has just softened. Remove from heat and blend till smooth. Finish with seeds if you fancy.

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