Nettle and ramsons soup

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alan refail
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Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby alan refail » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:00 am

Time again for the spring tonic :)

Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup

4 oz nettle shoots (a carrier bagful)
2 oz wild garlic leaves
1 oz butter
1 medium onion chopped fine
1 medium potato peeled and quartered
1 pint good chicken stock (not a cube)
grated nutmeg, salt and pepper and double cream to taste

1 Wash nettles and wild garlic (wear rubber gloves!). Put to drain in a colander.
2 Cook onion gently in butter till soft but not coloured
3 Add nettles, wild garlic and potatoes and stir until leaves wilted
4 Add stock and simmer for fifteen minutes
5 Liquidise, keeping potato pieces till the end so that soup may be to your desired thickness
6 Return to saucepan, add nutmeg, seasoning to taste and double cream to taste. Heat through and serve.

Serves 2
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby oldherbaceous » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:08 pm

Afternoon Alan, i thought of this very topic this morning, as i grabbed a hand full of weeds and got stung between the fingers.

Gosh, they were strong......
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby Colin_M » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:19 am

Agreed OH.
The nettles that line the road to our allotment are well and truly on the way (only a few inches high, but a thick blanket all along the road).

I welcome these, not only for Alan's recipes. By Spring, our conservatory is awash with greenfly and the nettles are a great source of ladybirds & ladybird larvae which I harvest to eat the aphids.
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alan refail
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby alan refail » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:03 pm

Just to prove that we do eat this here is my today's lunch. Picked the first ramsons and nettles this morning - rather later than previous years as the nettles are somewhat slower this year.

Will it persuade you to have a go at it? The colour of the soup may put some people off, but it's pure spring :) :)


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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
Believe one tenth of what you hear, and you will get some little truth (old Welsh proverb)
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby Tony Hague » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:31 pm

alan refail wrote:Will it persuade you to have a go at it?


No.

It resembles very closely the colour of a spinach soup I was once tempted to make, which was pure bitter green nastiness.
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby Jude » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:29 pm

Looks lovely, but needs a swirl of double cream, and I would have the bread to the left and wine glass to the right! :lol:
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alan refail
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby alan refail » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:42 am

Jude wrote:Looks lovely, but needs a swirl of double cream, and I would have the bread to the left and wine glass to the right! :lol:


Hi Jude

The double cream is there, just not visible.
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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby Colin_M » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:45 am

Yes, Alan, I'd give it a go, but probably using last years garlic since I don't know a reliable source of ransoms.

I persuaded my very sceptical wife to try ravioli stuffed with nettles & shallots a few years ago. Like Tony she was partly concerned they would taste awful and found it hard to put something in her mouth that she'd normally avoid touching! Need less to say it turned out fine.

Alan should probably advise, but I find once cooked nettles have a fairly mild flavour.

Finally, what was in the glass Alan?
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alan refail
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby alan refail » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:25 am

Hi Colin

It would be a different soup with dry garlic - just as nice though. I would suggest only a little garlic, as fresh ramsons only give a mild garlic tinge to the fresh green taste of the nettles. A good alternative would be new green garlic leaves.

What was in the glass?

This, if I remember rightly :wink:

Image

PS for Tony

Young nettles are not in the slightest bitter-tasting.
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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
Believe one tenth of what you hear, and you will get some little truth (old Welsh proverb)
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby Tony Hague » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:39 am

I admit I'm just vary wary of anything that shade of green; but I'll take your word for it that they are OK Alan. I've still got the remains of last year's beetroot surplus to eat my way through as Borscht for now ...
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Colin_M
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby Colin_M » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:05 pm

Ahhhh, Borscht. Now that should be the subject of a whole new thread.

Over to you Tony.
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby Myrkk » Thu May 10, 2012 9:17 pm

Looks lovely, I shall have to try it as our wild garlic is spreading quite nicely and could do with being harvested. I love making nettle tea so soup will be nice to try.

Black Stump is lovely.
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alan refail
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby alan refail » Fri May 11, 2012 7:34 am

Image


A few unopened ramsons flower heads are a tasty addition to a salad.
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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
Believe one tenth of what you hear, and you will get some little truth (old Welsh proverb)
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Re: Nettle and ramsons soup

Postby simonj » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:14 pm

Colin M - The only thing to watch out for is I would not recommend picking from busy road sides as nettles may have been sprayed with chemicals by the council (which can take some time to be apparent) and general contamination by vehicle exhausts.

Nettles are great, I use them to make not only soup, but also pesto, a nettle and Nori omelette and gnocci.

Anyway, this is my version of nettle soup

Image
The first thing you need to do is collect younger nettles, but they don't need to be that small.
Do this re-using an old plastic shopping bag and a pair of good rubber gloves.
Then strip the nettle stalks of their leaves. The used stalks can be set aside and used as a fertilizer for the kitchen garden plot.
I had about 300 gms of nettle leaves for this soup, but the more you get in the better really.
After that, its a very straight forward and simple soup.

Sea coriander is a plant I forage locally, I don't know what it is called properly. The stalk and little green berry heads taste of lime and coriander.
To replace this ingredient, simply use a tablespoon of chopped coriander leaf, just as good.

INGREDIENTS
1 Litre lamb stock (or substitute vegetable or chicken stock)
300 gm or more nettle leaves
Knob of good Butter
Salt and pepper to season.
2 tablespoon's of wild garlic leaf green is you can find it
- or substitute 1 clove garlic, crushed or garlic chives - .
1 Onion, finely diced
1 Tblsn Sea Coriander berries
or substitute with finely chopped coriander with a pinch of lime zest
1 Tspn Horseradish, finely grated (more if you want extra sting in your nettle soup)

METHOD
Put the butter into a heavy based pan and heat up.
Add onion, garlic, horseradish, and if desired bacon, to the pan.
Cook until onion softened and translucent.

Next add the nettle leaves and sea coriander berries to the pan.
Keep stirring the nettles and reduce them as you would with spinach.
Try and give them all a coating with the oils from the bottom of the pot.
Next add your stock and bring to the boil, reduce and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Then blitz with a food processor, return to pan and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes

I would normally serve with some creme fraiche, but did not have any so I just used a small round of goats cheese on top and some soda bread on the side.
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