This month’s Recipe Redux asked us to use a green herb in a different way, or to highlight a rarely used herb.
Nettles (Urtica dioica) are my favorite springtime herb, one that many people aren’t aware of as food, but I love in this Nettles Soup recipe.
They are a bit like the season-vibrant, bitter, prickly with just a bit of a bite from the venom.
Stinging nettles have an interesting way of protecting their stores of Iron, Calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K all wrapped up in a non fat, high fiber package.
To get those vitamins in your body requires picking before the venom pockets are filled and steaming or sauteeing the leaves to breakdown the stingers.
What you are left with is a brilliant green powerhouse of nutrition.
So gather your gloves and long pants, look for an area that has had a bit of disturbance and pick NOW before they flower.
We routinely pick enough to blanch and keep in the freezer for this kind of soup later.
We dry the leaves for a tasty tea to help with seasonal allergies later in spring too.
Our twins actually made the soup.
this is what the onions look like when ready.
- 1 large onion-diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 turban squash or other winter squash- baked, cooled and mashed
- 2 cups diced turkey meat
- 2 cups chopped chard
- 1 cup chopped nettles
- 1 quart turkey broth
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cook onion with olive oil in large deep pan till well browned and soft.
- Add the mashed squash, turkey meat, chopped chard and nettles.
- Cook till the greens become bright and vibrant
- Add turkey broth, salt and pepper.
- Cook till warmed through.
- Serve with bread or rice.