When you nearest neighbours are six feet under, nettles (at least in the UK) are regular garden intruder! The fence that borders the graveyard is does little to keep the nettles at bay and they would quite happily take over the flower bed if I didn't keep the in check each week. It always seemed something of a waste to bin them, so when I read Hugh F-W's recipe for Nettle Soup in the paper at the weekend, I decided to give it a try... afterall, we've happily followed him down every other culinary path that he's lead us of late!
It was very satisfying picking the nettles in my yellow Marigolds and I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter except for the addition of an extra leek, 50gms of baby spinach leaves and, once the soup was blended, approx. 500gms of new Garden Peas - the smaller and sweeter the better. I added them in, frozen, at the end and the gently reheated the soup. Oh, and I used soya margarine instead of butter, veg stock, not chicken, and left out the yoghurt. I served it with "buttered" granary bread, grated cheese for the veggies and a generous twist of black pepper. It is utterly delicious, I couldn't recommend it more... only downside, there just wasn't enough and I now find myself eyeing up nettles wherever I walk!
PS It's good cold too!