Stinging Nettle - Urtica diocaOur 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.

Picking Stinging NettlesThe fibrous stalks of the stinging nettles can reach one to two metres in the summer and have been used in weaving and rope making (cordage) for many thousands of years.

Stinging nettles have been used as a remedy for relief from rheumatism, and extracts can be used to treat arthritis, hayfever and kidney problems.

Chopped Nettles going into soupStinging nettles have a similar flavour to spinach and can be wilted over the fire for a crunchy, nutritious snack as they are rich in Vitamins A, C, D, iron, calcium, manganese and potassium.

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)
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Nettle SoupFry 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.

Going back for seconds!

Going back for seconds!

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.]