Hello Everyone! This is the soup of the week.
Stinging nettle is a very common weed which we see in the park, by the roadside or at our backyards. Almost all of our kindergarten children have experienced traumatic moments when the first time they got stung by a stinging nettle! They learn to be careful when walking past these hairy plants. They learn to rub the stinging nettle bite with a crushed dock leaf to ease the pain. As they grow, they like to challenge themselves by walking through nettle bushes with their hands held high- and of course, dressed in their waterproof outfits.
You might want to further overcome this plant by “eating it”. Their succulent spring leaves taste particularly nice and your child will certainly be willing to pick fresh nettle tops with the protection of gloves!
**Although in human history the consumption of stinging nettles is not uncommon, and nettle soup is considered a springtime delicacy, as this is a foraged food, only use this recipe if you are confident in identifying stinging nettle plants and feel comfortable and safe to consume them. When picking, choose the plants growing not too close to the path as the ones close to the path are more likely to get polluted by human and animal activities.
*This recipe serves 2~3 people as the starter of a meal.
- potatoes x 2
- onion x 1
- young nettle leaves x reasonable amount
- olive oil (or any other types of cooking oil) x 2 table spoons
- Bouillon x 2 tea spoons
- soft goat’s cheese or/and pine nuts to garnish
- salt and pepper to season (depending on personal taste)
1. Wash the fresh nettle tops very thoroughly to remove all grit (with rubber gloves on).
2. Select only “good” or tender nettle leaves for cooking (with a pair of scissors). If you prefer to peel the potatoes, children can help. Remember to remind them that we always move the peeler “away from us”. Adults can cut the potatoes to the size manageable for children first. When children are chopping, it is better to cut only one or two slices at a time. Avoid them from cutting onions as this might cause irritation to their eyes.
3. Add two table spoons of oil in a pan and cook the chopped onions until slightly caramelised.
4. Add chopped potatoes, water and Bouillon, stir well. Bring the soup base to boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until all vegetables are softened. Roughly mash the vegetables.
5. Add in nettle leaves and cook for 2~3 minutes (if cooked for too long, the colour of the soup will become brown).
6. Allow to cool before processing in the blender.
7. Warm up the soup.
8. Serve the soup in a bowl and garnish with crumbs of soft goat’s cheese or/and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt or/and pepper accordingly.