Nettle Soup


In the spirit of Be Nice to Nettles Week, we tried our hand at a batch of nettle soup using the site recipe as a basis. Let me tell you that a half pound of nettles is a whole lot more than you’d expect. I harvested enough young nettles (stems included) to fill a small plastic bag however once the stems and not so great parts were removed it came out to just slightly over 1/4 pound. Here’s what that looks like:


Just a reminder to protect your hands with gloves at any point in the process that involves touching any part of the fresh nettles including leaves and stems. The plant will lose its sting once cooked, but can get you at anytime when fresh, even when soaking under water.

The recipe seemed a little too bland so I chopped and added half a small onion before adding the nettles. We did not have sour cream or yoghurt on hand so I garnished mine with bits of smoked trout bought at my local farmer’s market. The soup was really good, tasting very much like vichyssoise. In fact I ate the leftovers cold. The geek in me was very satisfied that a portion of this meal was collected/foraged from the out-of-doors. Over the last year I’ve come back full circle to an early interest in wild foods and edible weeds that I haven’t really indulged since I was a teenager foraging for plants with “Edible Weeds of Canada” tucked under my arm.

Next up: Garlic Mustard.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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4 thoughts on “Nettle Soup

  1. Hi. I am new to the container gardening thing…I have started about 10-20 tomato plants, chive (garlic), lemon and mammoth basil (and another variety), red pepper, strawberry and more than several other herbs (lavendar, cilantro,?). For the plants that have sprouted up (mainly the tomatoe and basil and chive) they have are just getting a second set of leaves…I planted my seeds 3-4 to a peat pellet…I know that I will soon need to transplant to a larger container…need some tomatoes are beefstake and I do plan to gift some of my plants to family and friends as the enclosed area they are growing in is only 2′ by 3′ (maybe) and also houses the garbage can, broom, mop, etc.

    I need help with know when to transplant…don’t have too many containers yet (starting to save 16oz water bottles…can’t find my drill bit to create holes for drainage…)HELP!!!

  2. The soup looks delicious! I love your addition of smoked trout~
    Now, I’m hungry.

    Greens always look like way more than it actually is. When I harvest spinach, the fresh leaves almost take over the kitchen- until I blanch them to freeze.

  3. You can use a hot paperclip to make holes in the bottle caps if you’d rather not do the drill or dremel (power tool) thing. Get the paperclip redhot on the stove (use hot pad, gloves or pliers etc to not burn your hands) and push it through the cap a few times at different spots. You could also just punch a hole through with a screw driver or knife if your careful not to make the hole to big (or make holes in yourself).

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