Chiltern Nettle Soup

It takes a big bag of nettles to make up the 120g you’ll need for this recipe. That said, its 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)

Using rubber gloves, wash the nettles in clean running water and then blanch them by pouring some boiling water over them. Set aside. This will remove the sting.

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 slightly golden.

Add the nettles and mix everything together.

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

Cool slightly before pouring into the food processor or blender. Blitz until smooth.

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

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