Nettle soup was used as a spring cleanse or detox in the days when fresh greens weren’t available throughout the winter. Nettles are the most nutritious of wild vegetables, full of vitamins and minerals and especially rich in iron.
- Sweat the onion and garlic in the oil until they begin to soften, then add the washed nettle leaves and continue to sweat until they are soft.
- Add the potatoes, stock and bayleaf. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove the bayleaf and process the mixture until smooth.
- Return to the pan, add the milk, heat through and season to taste before serving.
Use rubber gloves to pick the nettles and only pick the top 5-6 leaves, preferably of young plants when only about 20cm (8in) high. Later in the season, butterflies lay their eggs on the nettles so be aware.