photo by Ayca Rodop
Nettles were more or less the greatest foe my brothers and I faced growing up in very rural Suffolk and we put great efforts into avoiding them. However, influenced by all the bumf around about foraging now, tasting nettles has been on my to-do list for a while. At Z’s water mill, RR & AR, DM, JG and I went ‘a nettle-picking (wearing gloves) to make a soup. I really liked the irony nettle flavour and definitely intend to eat them again.
Served 12 – small bowls
1 normal-size carrier bag of nettle tops (the smallest leaves possible, without the flowering bits)
1 wild garlic stalk (or 2 cloves normal), finely chopped
a small bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
1.5 liters water or veg stock
4 tablespoons Greek or natural yogurt
knob of butter
teaspoon yogurt per bowl
How I made it:
Saute garlic and spring onions in melted butter until soft and fragrant. Add in nettles with stalks removed and stir. Leave until wilted. Pour in hot water/stock. Stir. Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Take off the heat. Blend using a hand blender. Pour through a sieve into a bowl to extract the woody bits of nettle and to refine the texture (this is important). Stir in yogurt and season well with salt. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Ladle into bowls with another teaspoon of yogurt, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of chives.
Ideally some good bread and a crisp white wine.
This would work too for other green leaves like spinach.