A garden overgrown with Nettles. A recipe for a hearty soup.
Step 1: Make a stock with 1 onion, 1 leek, chopped into large pieces; 3-4 dried shittake mushrooms and a 10cm strip of Kombu seaweed, 1-2 litres of water, bring to boil then simmer for 40 mins or so.
Step 2: Assemble the ingredients: a healthy bunch of nettle leaves (plucked with rubber gloves), 1 onion, 1 leek, 3 potatoes, ginger and garlic (not shown).
Step 3: Chop onion into small cubes, mince ginger and garlic, separate leek whites and greens, cut whites in half lengthways then slice finely in diagonals. Peel and chop potatoes into cubes (save skins) and chop nettle leaves roughly.
Step 4: In a heavy bottomed pan, heat Olive Oil, add in stages Onion, Leek whites, Ginger & Garlic, with a healthy sprinkle of Sea Salt. Sauté until they soften, then add Nettles and Potato cubes.
Step 5: Pour stock liquid into soup, removing vegetables. Set aside Kombu and Shittake for later use.
Step 6: Simmer soup gently for 20mins, until all vegetables are cooked. Leek Greens are sliced finely and added towards the end. Add Sea Salt and butter (optional) to enhance and round out flavour.
Step 7: Blend the soup. It is now ready to serve!
The finished serving: Nettle Soup with Natural Yoghurt and a garnish of lightly fried potato skins, served with hot buttered Toast.