It's not often you can get it. Certainly it is something that you can't get in tin. The taste is like a velvety.wholesome tantalising and delicious sensation. To top it all you could well be taking a dose of nutritional supplements with every spoonful.
What is this soup of Specialness. Why it's nettle soup of course!
Once you have a taste for it you are more than prepared to dedicate all the time and effort and face the very possible odd sting here and there to get at it. It has a short season and we're in it right now. When you pick a lot of it you begin to notice the slight difference in taste depending on where you picked it.
So if you would like to become an afficionado of nettle soup then here's how to go about it.
First identify which weed is a nettle. Check it out online.
Look for nettles that are in places that would be difficult for dogs and other animals to access for their (not to put too fine a point on it) toileting.
Pick the top of the stem so you are getting fresh young leaves - they taste better.
To pick you will need to wear rubber style gardening gloves. Sometimes I have used scissors and cut the stem then very carefully trapped it in the scissors and dropped into a carrier bag. You will most likely get stung somewhere on your forage but it will wear off eventually. I've not tried grabbing a handful which is said to not sting.
Getting them ready for soup:
Empty the contents into a washing up bowl filled with cold water and swish them about to clean off any unwanted bits. Take a colander full and rinse thoroughly under the tap, continue until all is rinsed.
You need a pan ful of nettle as it soon diminishes.
Now to the cooking stage
Soft fry one medium onion in a large saucepan.
Add one peeled potato and water or any stock you have from vegetables you have cooked (don't use concentrated stock as it alters the taste)
Add the nettles by cutting the leaves off the stalk and popping in the pan - Dont touch them use scissors.
You will see that they will almost immediately wither. Add one leaf of spring green cabbage and a crushed clove of garlic.
Add a handful of fresh herbs such as sage, parsley, rosemary, oregano etc do not use a lot of one herb. This will act as the background stock taste.
Cook until the potato is soft then liquidise. Add seasoning to taste
The potato is there to thicken the soup as it would be very watery otherwise.
Eat and enjoy. Become addicted.
Read this blog about the benefits of nettle and feel a little smug