Stinging nettle soup

Mar 19, 2024

This deep-green soup is full of nutrients. Nettles have high levels of Vitamin C and are rich in Vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and a good source of protein too.

Serves: 4 

Preparation Time: 10-20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

​Author: Josine Atsma

Ingredients

Half a carrier bag full of nettle tops
50g butter or olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and cut in cubes
1 onion, chopped
1ltr vegetable stock or bouillon
Single cream or vegan alternative
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

When picking weeds:

Make sure you know what you are picking.
Don’t pick weeds from roadsides (car fumes and soot)
Best not to pick weeds growing directly next to foot paths (dog pee)
Young plants are best.

Nettles lose their sting as soon as you pour boiling water over them, so use gardening gloves or marigolds when picking, washing and chopping them.

Heat the butter or oil in a large pan and fry the chopped onion for around 3 minutes, add the potato and fry for another minute before adding the stock or bouillon.

Boil for 15 minutes until the potato is soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Puree the soup with a blender and add the cream and nutmeg to taste.

Nutritional fact:

This deep-green soup is high in certain minerals and vitamins. They are extremely high in vitamin A (40% compared to 28% in carrots!). They are also high in calcium and iron – minerals women need lots of.

Josine and JP are hosts in Scotland sharing their home and garden with with 10 chickens, Harvey the rooster and two cats – “We are self-sufficient in most of our fruit and vegetables and eat weeds in the leaner months” – Josine is the owner of the vibrant and award winning Stirling Health Food Store where many more seasonal recipes like the one above can be found.

JP, who’s a freelance web developer, has built a website called ‘Circle of the Good Life’ where Josine writes a monthly blog about their life in Glendevon. Below is a summary of their WWOOF story including how this energetic and creative couple of ex-WWOOFers from the Netherlands came to be hosts themselves:

“We moved to a cottage with a fairly large garden back in 2011 where we wanted to grow our own fruit and vegetables and be self-sufficient for as much of the year as possible. It soon became clear that we had bitten more off than we could chew and decided we needed help. Thankfully we, ourselves, have been WWOOFers for 9 months in 2006 when we stayed with several different WWOOF hosts, all located in Scotland. This was such a great experience and some hosts had such an inspiring lifestyle that we took the plunge to move to Scotland and be self-sufficient. That’s how we knew about WWOOF and how it can be a two-way exchange of knowledge.”

Josine and JP’s garden

“We have welcomed between 20 – 30 WWOOFers during our time as hosts and always had great fun and, boy, what a difference an extra pair (or pairs) of hands make! With the help of WWOOFers we built a greenhouse, a chicken coop, dug a massive pond, planted trees, grew lots of vegetables and made jam, sauerkraut and wine. We have so many fond memories: playing board games with each other, watching (horror) movies, listening to music and going for walks in the countryside. Of course, sometimes you find there are not many common grounds between hosts and volunteer or that language is a barrier, but you always find ways around it and that’s what’s so good about WWOOF; you learn about other cultures and can have open discussions to learn even more about others.”

Big thanks to Josine for giving us permission to publish her recipes and for sharing her inspiring WWOOF story.

Do you like the sound of the nettle soup recipe? Make sure you have a look at the other seasonal recipes we’ve published here.

Photo credit: Josine Atsma

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