Home-made Nettle Soup Take 3
By Andrea Cullen
May 15th 2014
So now that I am getting adventurous this is my third take on Nettle Soup. This time I placed a lot more focus on nettles as the main ingredient; however typically I have added in the kitchen sink of ingredients to make this jam-packed with nutrition…. After all why stop at just one vegetable when soup is your chance to get in a heap of veggies!
I added watercress to this soup recipe. Watercress is an amazing food for health. Here is a nice synopsis of the benefits http://watercress.co.uk/healthy-stuff/original-superfood/. Watercress is especially beneficial to support the blood and liver and is an antioxidant rich cancer preventing food. Watercress is helpful to support hormone balance in both men and women; notably for breast cancer prevention. Here is another helpful link http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/nov2007_sf_watercress_01.htm
Pork bone stock:
Today I purchased some beef bones and pork breast bones from the local butchers. I scooped the marrow out of the beef bones and added this and the pork breast bones with whatever meat was remaining to a large saucepan. I covered these with filtered water and let them boil and then simmer away on a low heat for over an hour. There was very little fats floating on the stock so I had no need to strain it before using in my soup. If you don’t want to make your own stock then any stock can be used be it home-made from chicken, beef or lamb bones or from high quality stock cubes that are free from MSG and gluten.
As I am practicing frugal cooking and doing my best to not waste a scrap in the kitchen I then took the pork bones with meat from the stock and grilled them topped them with chili jam to give them a tasty spare rib type crust… YUM! I should have taken a photo of this; but I was only thinking of my belly at the time. Here are the bones; not a pretty site; but then again if you saw how processed food was made this would make you feel even sicker!
Today when I was out picking nettles I choose to pull only the nettle tips so that I was taking the freshest most tender part of the nettle. I also found a few new friends while out foraging.
Nettle soup ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic – finely sliced or crushed
- 1-inch root ginger – finely sliced or crushed
- 1 leek – sliced
- 1 red chili- washed and sliced with the seeds remaining if you like it hot
- Pork bone stock or fresh stock made from chicken, beef or lamb, or stock made from organic, gluten and MSG-free stock cubes
- 1 carrot – peeled and roughly sliced
- Several sticks of celery – roughly sliced
- 1 courgette – roughly sliced
- Baby peas/ mange-tout/ snap peas – washed
- Nettle tips – washed to remove any insects or passengers
- Fresh watercress (rocket would substitute well here also)
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Optional dried or fresh herbs of choice
- Optional thickening using corn flour or potato flour
- Wash all your vegetables well. I use Kangen 11.5 pH water.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan and add the leeks, garlic, chili pepper and ginger. Sauté until cooked through.
- Add roughly chopped carrot, celery, courgette, and ‘peas’ to the saucepan. Ladle in sufficient stock to cover the base of the pan by approximately 1-inch deep. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Place a lid on the pot and allow the vegetables to steam until just cooked through. At the point you may add fresh or dried herbs if using.
- Add in the remaining stock so that the vegetables are very much covered and swimming. Add the washed watercress (or rocket) and nettle tops.
- Simmer gently for approximately ten to fifteen minutes.
- Blitz with a hand held blender or in the liquidiser. You may prefer to thicken with corn flour or potato flour. Season to taste with sea or Himalayan or Hawaiian salt and fresh black pepper.
- Serve as is if you wish to keep this lean; if you wish to indulge consider adding a generous dollop of cream or coconut milk
PS the garden is in full bloom currently; check out these fabulous colours!