Updated: Apr 6, 2020
As its January it is the perfect time of year to forage for the humble stinging nettle, and what better way to use it than in a soup!
This time of year the weather is still pretty poor if your in the UK so anything to warm you up has to be a bonus!
We've tried lots of different ways of making them into a soup but our fav has to be by Irena Macri @eatdrinkpalo, her variation with crispy bacon just tastes amazing!
See below for her recipe:
STINGING NETTLE SOUP WITH CRISPY BACON
Author: Irena Macri
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or I've used olive oil which works just the same)
1 brown onion
diced1 cup diced white or sweet potato
1/3 medium head of cauliflower, broken up
1/2 medium head of broccoli, broken up
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 bay leaf
zest of 1 medium lemon
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2/3 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups of stinging nettles (a bunch of 7–8 large stems with leaves)
juice of 1 lemon
4–5 thyme sprigs, leaves only
3–4 bacon rashers, diced
1/2 cup cream or coconut cream (regular cream can also be used)
some edible flowers and lemon zest for garnish if you want it to look pretty.
Heat coconut oil / olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, sweet potato potato, cauliflower and broccoli and sauté on medium heat for 6-7 minutes, until lightly softened.
Add the garlic, bay leaf, lemon zest, vegetable stock, mustard, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes until all vegetables are soft.
In the meantime, boil some water and pour it over the stinging nettles. This will take most of the sting off. Using scissors, cut off the leaves, rinse and set aside.
After 10 minutes of cooking, add the nettle leaves to the soup and cook for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Add lemon juice and stir.
Puree in batches for a good minute or two, until smooth.
Transfer back to the saucepan and add the coconut cream and fresh thyme. Stir over low heat for a minute and taste for salt and lemon.
Lastly, pan fry the bacon and serve with the soup.
Irena has a tonne of healthy, nutritious recipes with a focus on vegetables, paleo and gluten-free diets which are perfect for using up those last veggies from the allotment in the summer when the courgettes get out of hand so she's definitely worth checking her page out.