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Excellent. Sub onion for shallots, And just for fun I used yams instead of potatoes. I was worried that the yams would be too sweet, But the thyme saved the day. I did not did not puree. And the cream helped.
Hi Nathan, good to know it still works well with sweet potatoes!
Substituted an onion for the shallots, omitted the cream and used vegetable stock instead of chicken. Pureed it only slightly with an immersion blender, so that around half teh soup was still chunky and not pureed. Turned out quite good. Would make again.
Second time making this nettle soup. Substituted onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers for the shallots and celery. Also, did not puree. Quite honestly, I liked it better.
Made it tonight without the dairy and with chopped lovage stems instead of celery. It was absolutely fantastic!!!!!!! A new favorite recipe!!
Any thoughts on substituting lovage stems or leaves for the celery?
I think you could do that, yes. Nettles have a strong flavor and so does lovage, but I think they would place nice together.
YummyFriend said it was a hundred times better than hers.
I’m a big fan of this recipe! Love it. I’m wondering what is the point of putting the blanched nettles in ice and ‘shocking them’? I skip this step and it still seems to work out well. I like another commenters thought to skip balancing all together to preserve nutrients.
Shocking the nettles simply assures they don’t get overcooked and stay bright green. But *blanching* the nettles also removes the sting. That makes them easier to handle, too.
Hi Sara, blanch and refresh is common practice in professional kitchens. It stops the item that was blanched from cooking and losing colour. That would be what the term,’shock’, means in this context. Ronnie.
Later in recipe the nettles get simmered for 15 minutes. I don’t get why the ‘losing colour’ and further cooking isn’t an issue then…
Since I’m not trying to be a professional, seems to me I could just add the fresh nettles at the stage where raw potatoes get added. I’m sure 15 mins of simmering would remove the sting. It might be unprofessional but I bet it would work, right?
Blanching, de-activates enzymes in the nettles so the soup stays bright green – which would otherwise turn the soup khaki green/brown. The blanching also gets rid of insects, grit, and wilts the leaves making them easier to deal with & strip the stalks.
Of course it has to be very fast (no more than a minute) otherwise you also wash away nutrients.
15mins simmering seems like too much, young leaves shouldnt need more than 5 mins max.
Thanks for the explanation, lapin. I do think the soup is much prettier when it’s bright green this way. Also, blanching removes the stingers. Either cooking or pulverizing will de-activate the stingers, but some folks choose to blanch and shock the nettles even if making pesto.
Amazing experience foraging for food and shared the soup with elderly neighbours who loved it also.
Wonderful Marcus! And how kind of you to share with your neighbors.
This is the first time I have made nettle soup and it was delicious. I didn’t Blanche the nettles as in the recepie as I wanted to keep all the nutrients in. Ate it with homemade sourdough bread. What a treat.
Did you forage your nettles, Andrew? I’m jealous, the species we have here isn’t ready until summer.
Summer? Lucky! You can only find usable nettles (that haven’t blossomed yet) around here in January, early February. So glad you like the soup Andrew!
Delicious! Perfect use of nettles-lots of nettley flavor mixed with lemon and cream, so yummy! Thanks for sharing this recipe, will make again!
Love this soup! So much so that we encourage nettle growth in our woods and look forward to the month of April as Nettle Soup making month!
Wonderful! I shared a picture on your Facebook guest page.
Won’t the lemon in there curdle the cream when you add it? This looks delicious, going to try it today! Though without the cream for personal reasons.
Hi Corey, if you are using heavy whipping cream you should be fine. It’s the lower fat creams that can have a curdling issue.
There is more than one species of nettle, and some have fewer stingers than others. Varieties with fewer stingers would be the ones I would want for eating purposes because they are easier to handle.
Hi John, with any variety you are not going to want to handle them with your bare hands. You’ll want to use gloves or tons.
I am considering saving the blanching water to drink as a tonic. Thoughts??
Hi Celia, sounds like a great idea! Nettle tea is just made from steeping dried nettle leaves in hot water, so why not?
Gorgeous soup, very balanced flavors. I made this vegan by using earth balance butter, broth made from veggie base and a bit of cashew cream I keep on hand on the refrigerator. Two of us ate it all in a couple hours! The nettles have passed for the season, I look forward to making it again next year!
Thank you for the recipe, Elise. I first tried nettle soup during a trip to Point Reyes, and then I moved away from CA and hadn’t come across it since. Yesterday I saw fresh nettles in the grocery store here in KY and decided to bring them home and make soup. Your recipe turned out perfectly.
advise fore stings from nettles, brake stems open and rub on stings, then no more ouch. Yes it works.
I just went online to do an inquiry on what I could serve along with nettle soup for company and I came upon your website and a few others also and was fascinated with your recipes for nettle soup. Homemade nettle soup has been a family recipe in my mom’s family for over 87 years and handed down.
The original recipe was never written down but continued to be pass down through the last 4 generations. Our family recipe is German in origin. The recipe originated from the midwife who was attending my grandmother when
my mother was born. The midwife was of German origin as was my grandmother. The midwife made her nettle soup for the whole family that day and it has been in our family ever since, although there are some variations of it due to the preferences of different family members. I thought I would share our family recipe that has been passed down to me from my mother. Our version has some similar ingredients to your recipe but also some distinct differences
German Origin Nettle Soup
3-4 cups cleaned and chopped nettles
3cups diced potatoes
3 cups diced 1/2=3/4″ ham
Meaty ham bone or 2 meaty ham hocks (plan or smoked)
7-8 cups water
1-2 chicken bouillion cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Put meaty ham bone or ham hocks
in soup stock pot filled with water. Boil
together until a hearty ham stock is made,
about 1 hr or slightly longer. Remove bones
from ham stock. Add cubed ham and potatoes
to ham stock and boil until potatoes are tender.
Add nettles and cook until tender. Put egg(s) in to
small bowl and whisk with fork slightly. Just before serving,
Add whisked egg mixture to hot soup slowly, whisk soup
continually while adding egg (will resemble egg drop soup somewhat
after egg is added). Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Serves 4-6 people.
PS Just a hint for novices who pick their own nettles, clean them, etc. Be
sure to rinse the nettles well after cleaning them several times, if you’ve found them in somewhat sandy soil, to get the sand out completely. Wen I
gather nettles, I like to wear garden gloves and kitchen shears to cut them with. I soak them in cold salt water and clean them under cool running water, wear plastic disposable gloves. I rinse them several times in cold water and drain, then cut them into 1-2″ sections.
Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe and for the great tips for handling nettles!
Hi Elise, this looks SO good and I am dying to make it. However, I live in an area where I cannot get fresh nettles. Do you think using dried nettles would work for this? Thanks! Lisa
Hi Lisa, no, I don’t think dried nettles will work for this. They’ll make a good tea though!