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There’s truly nothing better than a good bowl of creamy soup. I would undoubtedly eat soup every day, no matter the season if I could. It’s basically just sauce that’s acceptable to eat with a spoon, and you know I love a good sauce. This nettle soup is one of my favorite soups to date. Plus, it’s full of nettles, which means that it’s packed with nutrients and earthy magic.
You can use fresh nettles straight from the ground. Just make sure to remove the stems and give the nettles a good rinse to get rid of any bugs before cooking with them. By cooking the nettles in the broth, you’re removing the sting from the leaves, making it edible and highly enjoyable. You’ll find nettles in spring or early summer, depending on where you are in the world. My advice is to connect with local foragers or herbalists to get your hands on fresh ones and maybe even get the inside scoop on where to find them for yourself.
I use my immersion blender to puree soups right in the pan, but you can also use a blender and mix in batches. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream and some crusty rustic bread. P.S. This soup is nice and thick, so you can even use it as a sauce over some pasta. The recipe serves six!
This recipe is from my new cookbook, Forest + Home: Cultivating an Herbal Kitchen, which comes out on September 13th, 2022. Find a copy wherever books are sold.
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or ghee
1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks
1/2 large yellow onion, rough chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups broth (veggie, chicken, mushroom, etc)
1 cup frozen nettles, or 2 ½ cups rinsed fresh nettles
1 tablespoon thyme
7 sage leaves
4 to 5 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup full fat coconut milk
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the pot is hot and the butter has melted add the potatoes and onions. Season with a little bit of salt, and cook over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork and the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the broth, nettles, thyme, sage, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pot, and season with salt to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the coconut milk, and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Once done pureeing, add your desired amount of black pepper and more salt if needed. Serve warm.
About Spencre Linnea:
Spencre McGowan (she/her) is a cook, certified herbalist, and artist living in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. She is the author of Blotto Botany: A Lesson in Healing Cordials & Plant Magic, and Forest + Home: Cultivating an Herbal Kitchen. Spencre grew up on the Northern seas of Nantucket and Maine, but has since called many places home, including Sweden and California. In 2013 she attended the California School of Herbal Studies, and is currently developing recipes in a small wooden cabin that she shares with her husband and two cats. Find her on Instagram, TikTok, and online at www.gingertooth.com.