Young nettles are rich in circulatory-, tissue- and bone-supporting minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium and zinc. Because of their high protein content, vegetarians and vegans will benefit from adding nettles to their diet.
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
150g mushrooms (any culinary type), chopped (optional)
3 medium potatoes, chopped (peeled if preferred)
1 litre hot vegetable stock
1 colander fresh nettle tops
salt and pepper
wild garlic or chive flowers, to garnish (optional)
Chop the garlic and set aside. (This allows the allicin, one of the main medicinal compounds of garlic, to develop fully.) Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and cook gently until translucent, but not caramelised/browned.
Add the mushrooms, if using, and continue to cook until a little soft. Add the chopped potatoes and hot stock to cover. Simmer gently for 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Add the nettle tops and chopped garlic and continue to simmer gently for a few minutes until the nettles have wilted. Use a hand blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and serve with crusty bread.
SHELF LIFE Store in the fridge and use within 3 days. Alternatively, freeze in batches in airtight containers for up to 2 months.
Taken from the Herbal Remedy Handbook (Kyle Books, 2019)
Sensible safety foraging tips here