Our first experience of stinging nettles is usually in childhood and the familiar itching, burning rash that occurs after the briefest of brushes with bare skin. The use of stinging nettles goes far beyond nettle tea.
Stinging nettles have been used as a remedy for relief from rheumatism, and extracts can be used to treat arthritis, hayfever and kidney problems.
Natural Pathways Nettle Soup
Young spring leaves are perfect for harvesting and soup making. Take care to avoid stings when pinching out the top four leaves of the plant. (We used thick gardening gloves or leather gloves).
- 1 large bowl of freshly picked, washed and finely chopped young nettle leaves
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic (or a handful of ramsons)
- 3-4 potatoes, finely chopped (to act as a thickener)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil to soften before adding the finely chopped potatoes. Sweat for 5-7 minutes to increase flavours. Add water (and stock if you prefer). When the potato has cooked, stir in the finely chopped nettles and cook for around three to five minutes. Take the mixture off the fire and serve up as a quick, nutritious and delicious springtime feast.
For an extra indulgence when not cooking on the camp fire add milk or cream at the end of cooking and liquidise. Yum!
[Natural Pathways strongly suggest that any foraging be carried out under the supervision of trained practitioners and is the sole responsibility of the individual forager.]