Thursday, 3 March 2011

Nettle soup

There is nothing quite like springtime in a country that has been covered in snow for months on end. The first sign- the snow on the roof tops, melting and dripping down outside the window.
The next step- the once so white snow is turning grey and slushy, revealing the "business" the dogs have left behind the whole winter (not my favourite part..).
But then, evenings getting brighter, birds begin to sing. The rain and the sunshine taking turns to get rid of the last remaining snow.

And slowly, slowly the earth begin to thaw, and crocus and snowdrops are popping out of the ground. And so does the less popular stinging nettle, absolutely bursting with flavour and nutritional goodness.
Pick the nettles when they are small and tender (make sure to wear rubber gloves).
Once cooked the lose there "sting" and is an amazing vegetable.
You could also use it to make pesto or mixed with ricotta cheese in cannelloni et c. But this is how to make nettle soup, the way my grandma Ingegerd use to make it (although I've added the shallot, I'm sure she wouldn't mind..)

Pick your nettles using rubber gloves to prevent your hands from getting stung, that's an unpleasant experience that we'll rather do without.
I won't give any measurement, because it would depend on how well your nettle hunt goes, but also on how thick you want your soup. I'll throw you some guidelines though.

Nettle soup
  • Nettles, a couple of hands full per person will be sufficient.
  • 1 or 2 shallots
  • a knob of butter
  • chicken stock
  • cream (only about a 1/4 of the amount of stock you are using)
  • salt and pepper
  • Half a semi hard boiled egg per person
Rinse the nettles thoroughly.
Finley chop the shallot and fry in butter on low heat until soft, but not coloured.
Add the nettles and leave until weltered.
Pour in some of the chicken stock and using a blender or a mixer ( I just use a hand held mixer), run until smooth.
Bring it back to the heat and add the cream and season to taste. Make sure not to boil the soup, as you would loose most of the nutrients and the colour would look dull.
Serve with half an egg, slightly creamy in the middle.
Now go on, get you vitamin boost!



  1. Åh, nu börjar jag längta efter nässelsoppa! I dag har det varit strålande solsken och snötäcket har sjunkit undan betydligt. Det droppar från taken och fåglarna har börjat kvittra. Äntligen är våren på väg!

    Nässlor är, precis som du skriver, otroligt nyttiga och förutom att jag vill ha soppa åtminstone en gång på våren, så plockar jag nässlor hela sommaren och torkar. Det tycker hönsen är smaskens och ett välkommet tillskott på vintern när det inte finns något gräs att picka i sig.

    Är det lika gott om nässlor där du bor som här i Sverige?

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  3. My grandmother made a similar nettle soup to "brace" you. Thanks for bringing back memories!