Nettles are one of nature’s most versatile plants. For centuries they have been used as Spring tonics, teas, soups, pestos and even made into fibres for cloth and and if you get a sting, the acid from the plant can help arthritis sufferers by releasing that uric acid into the bloodstream .
We use them for delicious soups, pestos, and sauces. Nettles are really full of protein, calcium, vitamin C and I believe beta carotene.
Our favourite is Nettle Soup which is really easy to make
1 Large Onion, I large garlic clove
2 good handfuls of nettles – just the tops
Salt,pepper and 60 g butter
1 stock cube or your own stock if you have some to hand.
Melt butter and sweat the onion slowly, add salt and pepper. Do not over cook or allow to go brown. Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Cook for approx 10 minutes. Add nettle tops with no stems to the pan. Mix stock cube or add stock ton boiling water, 1 litre – add to pan and bring slowly to the boil until the potatoes are cooked. Liquidize and adjust seasoning. You can add cream if you like. I prefer croutons or some nice toast.
Nettles make great pesto simply blend together 500 g uncooked nettles, 250 g Pine nuts or any other nuts you may like,250g Parmesan ( freshly grated), 3 garlic cloves, (fat ones) salt and olive oil. You can adjust the texture by increasing the cheese or the oil. It’s up to you!. Delicious stirred into pastas or on crackers.