How to Avoid the Sting and Enjoy the Green

by Ellen Zachos

Nettle Soup

The deep, rich green of nettle soup seems almost too vibrant to be natural. Its flavor is full and wild.

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Jerusalem artichokes (you may substitute thinly sliced potatoes or cooked rice)
  • 2 cups blanched stinging nettles, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, cream, or crème fraiche

Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan, then add the onions and Jerusalem artichoke slices. Cook, stirring over medium heat, until the onions become translucent, but don’t let them brown. Add the chopped and blanched nettles, then add the salt, pepper, and stock. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes. The Jerusalem artichokes (or potatoes or rice) should now be entirely soft.

Transfer the mixture to a blender, or use an immersion blender, to create a smooth purée. Pour the soup into a saucepan, and stir in the dairy. Taste and adjust your seasoning, and if you want to spice things up, shake a few drops of hot sauce on top.

If freezing your nettle soup, stop before adding the dairy, and resume there just before serving.

Learn how to forage for nettles here.

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