Highland Nettle Soup
Highland Nettle Soup Recipe
In this recipe, we are going to take you through the steps of our Nettle Soup Recipe. We don’t serve this on our Eagle Brae Menu for guests. But it is a home favourite in the spring for our family, as the nettles are starting to come through. Moreover, at Eagle Brae we are big on foraging for food and living off the land. So, our Nettle Soup recipe is just one of the many dishes we enjoy from our pickings. Of course, they don’t have to be Highland nettles for your soup. Any good fresh, young nettles are perfect.
Firstly you pick and separate the nettle leaves without being stung! Here you are best to wear marigolds or thick gloves. Secondly, you need to take the leaves off. Again wear gloves! Alternatively, if you squeeze the leaves tightly between your thumb and forefinger, they won’t sting. We can’t stress enough picking just the young ones! And don’t add the stalks as you get really bitter and earthy taste from them.
Ingredients (feeds 4)
- Arond 150g of washed stinging nettle leaves (or dried nettle leaves)
- 30-35g of softened butter
- 1 diced onion
- 1 large or 2 smallish leeks, trimmed, washed and finely sliced
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 courgettes, chopped
- 1 tea spoon cumin powder
- 1 tea spoon paprika
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp white rice, such as basmati
- 1 litre vegetable (or chicken) stock
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 heaped tbsp thick, plain yoghurt, to finish
- 1 small bunch chives, to finish
So, it takes around 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook. Here we make if from highly nutritious young nettles. In addition, you can swap the nettles for baby spinach.
How to Prepare
Firstly, melt your butter in a large pan. Or, if you want a healthier option, use half butter, half olive oil. Once melted, add the onions, courgettes, leek, celery and garlic, cumin and paprika. Fry the mix and cook over medium-low heat. Cover and sweat gently for 10 minutes. Here, you can stir the mixture a few times, until soft, but don’t brown.
Next, add the rice and stock. Now bring this to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the nettles, discarding the tough stocks. Stir them into the stock as they wilt. Next simmer for five minutes or so, until the rice and the nettles are tender. Very young nettle tops will need only two to three minutes. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Finally, purée the soup in two batches.
Serve in warmed bowls, topping each portion with a large dollop of yoghurt and a generous sprinkling of snipped chives.
Nettle Soup Serving Suggestion
Enjoy with warm crusty bread or homemade croutons. Alternatively, why not add a drizzle of truffle oil, or swirl in yogurt for a little indulgence. You can add sautéed wild mushrooms too.
For more delicious Eagle Brae dishes, see our other home-cooked recipes.