We'd hedge our bets that when you think of food that is good for you, you don't think of stinging nettles- particularly should you stumble through a patch barefoot!
But when foraged and cooked just right they are the most incredible (free!) superfood, filled with nutrients, they’re high in iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, silica, chlorophyll, vitamin C and D.
They also happen to make the most delicious soup, which is a doddle to make, so grab a pair of rubber washing up gloves and a colander!
Nettles are best in spring, so pick them before June.
Avoid the roadside or anywhere that may have been sprayed with pesticides, if you have a garden that’s perfect, if not a woody spot or big field will do the trick.
Wear rubber gloves and just pick the tops of the plant. You want the leaves, rather than the stems.
We pick enough to fill a colander, probably the same amount as a large bag of spinach would be.
This super quick and easy vegan lunch recipe is so simple to make.
The taste is similar to spinach but more delicate, the warm rapeseedy onions come through like a hug in a bowl and all those vitamins will get right to work where you need them most.
Truly a souper food!
1 big bowl of nettle tops
1 onion, roughly chopped
A good splash of rapeseed oil or plant-based butter
750ml vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
Vegan cream to serve (optional, but we like Oatly)
- In a large saucepan gently fry your chopped onion in the rapeseed oil. You want the onion to soften but not brown.
- Wearing gloves, wash your nettles and add to the pan while still a bit damp. Pop the lid on and let them sweat for a couple of minutes, stir and put lid back on for 2-3 more mins.
- Mix up your stock with boiling water and pour into the pan with a pinch of salt & a grind of black pepper, leaving it to bubble away for 2-3mins.
- When any unruly stems are good and soft, take off the heat and blend.
- Serve with a splash of plant-based cream and some fresh crusty bread- delicious!
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