Nettles, popping up on the forest floor are one of the surest signs of spring. Their bright green leaves and prickly stems emerge as the ground thaws and the weather warms. As they grow taller, they often leave tingling welts on the ankles and legs of unassuming hikers. But, when they’re still small, nettles can be harvested (carefully, using gloves or scissors), steamed, and used pretty much any way you might normally use spinach or other leafy greens. They’re packed with iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin K, vitmain A and vitamin B complex and are a welcome change after months of heavy winter foods. I always look forward to foraging for nettles and turning them into this creamy, chlorophyll packed soup every spring. Enjoy and be well.
*When harvesting nettles, wear gloves and use scissors to avoid stings. Only pick the top 1-2 inches from young nettles as too much stem will result in a fibrous, woody texture. Be sure to always use tongs when handling nettles in the kitchen to avoid stings. Steam the nettles thoroughly. The cooking process deactivates the stinging property of the nettles, making them edible.
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 large yukon gold potato, cubed (about 2 cups)
4 cups vegetable broth
6 ounces fresh nettles (about 6 cups loosely packed)
freshly squeezed lemon
coconut cream, sunflower seeds and mustard flowers to garnish
Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until translucent. Add the potato and broth and simmer until the potato is cooked through and soft. Meanwhile wash and steam the nettles. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Using tongs, measure out the nettles, add them to the bowl of water and toss to remove any dirt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using the tongs, transfer the nettles from the water to the pan. Cover and steam until bright green and completely wilted. Add the steamed nettles to the pot with the onions, celery, potato and broth. Simmer for a few more minutes then transfer to a high speed blender. Puree until completely smooth. Add a squeeze of lemon and stir to combine. Serve with coconut cream, sour cream or yogurt.
13 thoughts on “Nettle Soup”
Great one, thank you very much for sharing!
Interesting Recipe. I have lots of nettles in my allotment. I never knew i could eat them.
Yes! They’re really yummy in soup and so good for you…super high in iron. Make sure you harvest them when they’re young though or they’ll be tough.
yes, those photos are gorgeous! my nettle soup has never looked this lovely~ and such a great spring clean-up plant. i hope the goats haven’t eaten all mine! thanks for the inspiration to go look again~
You bet! Enjoy!
Gorgeous photos! Every year when the nettles arrive, I feel like I’ve somehow been made new again. Spring has a way of doing that. 🙂
It does indeed!
So beautiful! I use to add id it shakes and in guacamole, but in soups this looks even better, such a gorgeous color, Sasha!
Hmmm I bet it’s good in shakes! What else do you add?
I have never been brave enough to pick nettles to eat instead we’re always removing them from the garden to protect the kids. But recently I had nettle soup at a cafe and loved it. Thanks for this recipe, I will definitely try this as we have an abundance of nettles in the forest across from our home too.
Yay! Glad you’re excited to try something new! Enjoy
This look STUNNING!!! Gorgeous work – can’t wait to try. The nettles are just coming up here in Copenhagen.
Thank you for the inspiration, Sasha <3
xo, Sarah B
Sarah, Hey! Thanks so much for following and for your kind words. It means so much! Enjoy and be in touch!