The first green shoots of spring are poking their way up through the ground, one of the earliest and most prolific is the gardeners pet hate, the nettle.
The gardener may hate it but for the cook and forager nettles are a great ingredient. Found everywhere they are versatile, healthy and a great source of vitamins and minerals.
The easiest way to pick nettles is with a pair of rubber gloves, just pinch of the top leaves as they are the youngest and freshest and nicest to eat.
I like quite a thick, robust soup at this time of the year, a healthy warming bowl is perfect after being outside on a “not quite as warm as you’d think” type day.
Pick a large pot’s worth of young nettle leaves, wash and drain.
Take a large potato and cube it into 1cm chunks
Roughly chop a large onion
finely chop two cloves of garlic.
Heat up your pan and add in a good splash of olive oil, butter or rapeseed oil.
Tip in your onion and garlic and over a medium heat soften the onion but don’t let it colour
Add in the potato and coat with the oil, let it fry for a couple of minutes.
Add in the nettles and give it all a good stir.
Add in about a pint and a half of good chicken (or veg) stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce the temperature and simmer for 15mins or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Blitz to a smooth consistency with a blender then season with a little sprinkling of nutmeg and good pinches of salt and pepper.
To find your nearest Food Foraging Course visit the home page where all courses are listed by county.