Have you ever tried stinging nettle soup? If you haven't you are in for a treat. Stinging nettles lose their sting when they are blanched in hot water and make a sweet, bright verdant soup. They are high in vitamins and minerals and grow as a weed in many fertile soils. A word of warning, when picking and handling nettles make sure you wear thick rubber gloves!
4 cups tightly packed stinging nettle leaves, stems removed
1 large brown onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 medium potatoes, chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup soy milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Sauté the onion in a large saucepan over medium heat without oil. Once they begin to soften then add the garlic. As they begin to caramelise, add a dash of water to deglaze.
Throw in the parsnips and potato and add the vegetable stock. Allow to simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, rinse the stinging nettle leaves under running water. In a large saucepan of boiling water, blanch the leaves by submerging them in the hot water. Allow the water to come back to the boil and then strain the leaves in a sieve. Rinse the leaves under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Once the vegetables are soft, add these along with the stinging nettles and soy milk and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and gently reheat. You don't want to overcook the nettles.
Serve with a splash of soy yoghurt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!