Chiltern Nettle Soup

With spring fully upon us, it seems like the perfect time for nettle soup. So, armed with my marigolds, off I went to forage.

The marigolds are a necessity. The young nettle leaves that are best for soup don’t sting, but the older ones around them do. And that’s no fun.

The other thing you need to know is that it takes a big bag of nettles just to make up the 120g you’ll need for this recipe. That said, its yummy fresh, spinach-sorrel flavour makes it all well worth the effort.


Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter


120g young nettle leaves

2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

750ml light chicken stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

a dash of cream (optional)

1. Wash the nettles in clean running water and then blanch them by pouring over some boiling water over them from the kettle. (This deals with the stings!) Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the potatoes, onion and garlic and sauté gently until the onions and garlic are soft and all the vegetables are slightly golden.

3. Add the nettles and mix everything together.

4. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

5. Cool slightly before pouring into the food processor and blending.

6. Pour back into the pan, add salt and pepper to taste and a dash of cream if you want.

7. Re-heat gently and serve hot with some crusty bread and some good butter.