On the farm, we are hyper aware of the changes in the season. Right now, spring is in full swing, and I am out picking all the wild food available on our land.
In the back of the property, the nettles are prolific. They are easy to pick (wearing gloves of course), and simple to dry for my family’s pantry. Fresh greens are welcome after a long winter – even a mild one. Nettles are free and delicious!
A simple way to cook them, is to prepare a saute of nettles and garlic. This makes a lovely side dish, and leftovers stirred into eggs or blended with cheese to become a filling for ravioli. For now, we are content to eat nettles as a soup. The spring wind takes quite a bit of energy out of you when working in it all day long. This soup is warm and bright tasting – just right with a fresh slice of homemade bread.
1 lb fresh nettle tops
1 gallon of water or broth
3 medium potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, or 1 inch bundle of wild onions
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
S/P to taste
Fresh herbs; sweet marjoram and thyme work well
Place olive oil in large soup pot over medium low heat. Saute vegetables until almost soft. Remove vegetables, and add water or broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add vegetables and nettles back to the simmering liquid. Continue to simmer over low heat, until vegetables cooked through. Add fresh herbs and simmer for 5 minutes more. Serve.