Potatoes give this soup its thickness, while nettle leaves provide protein, vitamins, and vital minerals.
• 1 large onion
• 1 clove garlic, peeled
• 2 potatoes
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large handful young nettle leaves (about 1/4 to 1/2 pound)
• 1 bouillon cube (chicken or vegetable)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup cream (optional)
1. In a saucepan, combine chopped onion, garlic, potatoes, and olive oil, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat.
2. With gloved hands, thoroughly wash the nettles, and then trim the leaves from their stems. Set aside the leaves and compost the stems.
3. Make the chicken or vegetable stock by dissolving the bouillon cube in 3 cups boiling water.
4. Add the stock and nettle leaves to the saucepan and bring everything to a boil. Boil rapidly, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender enough to break with a fork.
5. Add the contents of the saucepan to a blender. Blend until the mixture turns into a thick soup.
6. Return the soup to the saucepan to keep it hot.
7. Season with salt and pepper, pour into large serving bowls, and stir in the cream to taste.
Learn more about the history and use of nettles in Benevolent Nettles.
Bio: Peter A. Gail holds a Ph.D. in botany and has spent his life researching traditional uses for backyard “weeds” as food and medicine. He’s the founder and director of Goosefoot Acres Center for Resourceful Living and Goosefoot Acres Press, and he’s the author of The Dandelion Celebration: A Guide to Unexpected Cuisine and other books.