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Nettle Soup ..... ..... ......My way!

 
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Gareth



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 85
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Nettle Soup ..... ..... ......My way! Reply with quote

Nettle Soup

500 g fresh picked stinging nettle tops

500 g Potatoes diced

75 g Butter or Margarine

1/2 Red Onion

1-2 sticks of Celery

75 g Fresh Red/Yellow/Green peppers

1-2 Cloves of freshly crushed Garlic

1 litre Vegetable stock

2 Tablespoons of Honey or Sugar. I find that nettles can be a little on the bitter side, and you all know how much I like Honey

250 ml fresh Milk.

Salt and Pepper to season.

Stand the picked nettles in a bucket or bowl of cold salty water for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off. This gets rid of any bugs and insects residing in the nettle tops. Peel and dice the potatoes, Celery and Onion. Melt the butter in the pan, when clarified add the Onions, Celery, Peppers and crushed Garlic cloves. Fry off for a couple of minutes. Add the diced Potatoes and continue frying off for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Throw in the Nettle tops and wilt by continualy stirring them and the other ingredients on the heat, after about 5 minutes or so add the Vegetable stock and bring to the boil, stir in the Honey (if required). Turn down to the simmer, and add the Milk, bring back to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Stand for 15 minutes and zap with the blender, or in the processor until smooth. Return to the pan, bring back up to the simmer and then serve.
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Making the Vegetable stock this mornng from some very sorry looking Veg found at the bottom of my fridge.

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The ingredients, ready to go.

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The Nettles soaking in the salty water.
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Frying off the Onions, Celery, Peppers and Garlic.

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Lightly frying the diced Potatoes, seasoned with Salt and Pepper.

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Throw in the Nettles,. Don't worry they wilt down!

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Add the Vegetable stock, Honey and Milk.

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After 30 minutes of gentle simmering.

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Nettle soup ready to have as my starter with dinner this evening.

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Last edited by Gareth on Sun May 18, 2008 12:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1023
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gareth -

I've had some really scrumptious nettle soups 'on the continent' - including Luton (which for me is continent-channel+coupl'miles. . . . to which UK addicts sometimes take offense . . . , , , sorry)

I have to say, other than the Ewell Gibbons twigs and bark groupies in USA, nettles just have not made a mainstream appearance.
fiddleheads - sort'of - nettle tops, not even close . . .

not too clear from your recipe directions - but what is your timeline / process / procedure for the nettles proper?
I've been cautionedcautionedwarnedtoldcautionedthreatened . . . . to thoroughly puree the (pre)steamed nettles to ensure no needles slip through.

since I've made it once - using wild spring nettles - I'm alternative clueless . . .
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Gareth



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 85
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked the wild Stinging Nettles minutes before I started this evening. They sat iin the bucket of salt water for about 15 minutes, as I prepped the rest of the ingredients. I then rinsed them in a sieve for a couple of minutes under running tap water, and just added them to the pan after I had fried the diced potatoes for 5-6 minutes.

Apart from the simmering for 30 minutes, I do nothing else, or special to counteract the actual stinging hairs or the irritant they contain, the heat does all that for me. I usually process the the cooked base into a very smooth puree, but tonight I just zapped it quickly, and not exactly smoothly as I was hungry. I have eaten nettle soup, nettle chutney and preserve many times and have never suffered any irritation from the stings, neither have any of my friends.

Stinging Nettles have been a British and European raw material for centuries, and are making a bit of a come back. Being used as a; food, flavouring, dye, and the fibres being processed into yarns, and then woven into cloth. A few years back I purchased two sets of Nettle fibre bed sheets when I was on business in Ireland. They are much nicer and more senusous to sleep upon than traditional flax linen.

Nettle fibre products are making a bit of come back at the moment. The majority of Nettle yarn is current being processed in Nepal as their varitities of nettles are much taller and therefore produce a longer fibre.

Some of my friends and I have been discussing Nettles on another forum board. Here is the link;

http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/about8415.html&highlight=nettle
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