Friday, 22 June 2012

Spicy Nettle Soup (gluten free, vegan)

Spicy Nettle Soup. Sounds so wrong, tastes so good.
Apparently there are only six degrees of separation between me and everyone else on the planet.

That's quite a cool thought because I've always fancied dinner with Richard Branson.

But it also means I'm quite closely linked to the bag lady who lives under a bridge.

I've nothing against bag ladies, but I worry that I could end up like one without too much effort. 

Are purple wellies wrong?

As a teenager, I sometimes wore Rucanors with a tassled Indian skirt and a trilby from a charity shop. 

Of course I would never do that again, but I did buy purple wellies recently.   It feels like a slippery slope...

I avoid refined sugar, I don't eat anything with a face and I sometimes carry a vial of soya milk around in case anyone offers me tea. 

Individually, nothing much wrong with any of the above.  But collectively? Hmmm...maybe I am strange.

And there's a woman living in my village who agrees.

Because at 10am the other morning she found me in an alley wearing one rubber glove and putting stinging nettles into a bag. 

I tried to laugh it off, but the damage is done.  I am the new person in the village who is also mental.


Random gardening in a public place

It  happened because the previous weekend my kids had wanted to cycle to the park.  To avoid stings and wailing, I nipped out with some secateurs and cut back the nettles in the alley by our house.

It's definitely weird to garden in a public place unless you're a guerrilla gardener - and yes I'd love to have a go at that - and weirder still to think 'Ooo, I fancy a bowl of these weeds.'

I remembered that I have a tendency to anaemia and wouldn't nettles be a MARVELLOUS source of iron and I should definitely make nettle soup.

See?  Random, bag lady logic.

Well look, I picked the nettles, destroyed my reputation and made the nettle soup.  And I had to add a  spicy twist because green soups can be a bit bland.

I hope you like it.

Do you know who else would like it?  Richard Branson. 

Can anyone get me an introduction?

Spicy Nettle Soup

Advice for nettle picking:  Wear long sleeves and a rubber glove.  Pick nettles that are at waist height or higher than a dog can pee.  I know it's gross, but forewarned and all that...

1 colander full of stinging nettles
1 onion
1 large potato
2 white/button mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 small, thin green chillies
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin
2 gluten free vegetable stock cubes + water
salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil to fry
Coconut milk or cream to serve

  • Wearing two rubber gloves, wash the stinging nettles and remove the leaves from the stems.  Discard the stems and put the nettles to one side
  • Dice the potato and roughly chop the onion, garlic and green chillis.  Put them in a saucepan (preferably non stick) with the oil and fry gently.  Add the spices and fry again
  • Add the nettles, fry for about a minute then add enough water to just cover the top of the veg (you can add more later).  Add the vegetable stock cubes and bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked
  • Use a hand blender to blitz the soup and then season to taste
  • Serve with coconut milk or cream
  • Probably best not to serve this to Richard Branson (refined tastes), but you could take a cup to the bag lady under the bridge.  Remember, one day that could be you.

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


Mimi said...

Hi Pig, this sounds very tasty indeed, and so very healthy.
Ha ha, so you're getting a reputation in the village? Ah well, it will bring excitement into people's lives!

Recipe Junkie said...

Yum! I've made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's nettle soup a few times this year, and I know where the dog pees in the garden (he's a creature of habit) so i could use those ones rather than exposing myself to being the mad bag lady collecting nettles. But then I walked the dog in my pyjamas recently and saw more people than I would ever normally have seen at that time in the morning. Typical,.