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Nettle soup
Nettle soup
added by River Cottage Hedgerow Handbook

Nettle Soup is probably what most people first think of when they consider cooking on the wild side, so I could hardly leave it out. The keys to an excellent Nettle Soup are potato – to give it body – and really good stock – to give it spirit. Without these the wild food cynic’s worst suspicions of boiled weeds will be confirmed. Note that a carrier bag is the standard measure for Nettles.

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Prep time
  • 10 mins
Cook Time
  • 20 mins
  • 4
  • Half a carrier bagful of Stinging Nettle tops, or fresh-looking larger leaves
  • 50g butter
  • 1 large onion (or a dozen Crow Garlic bulbs if you want to be truly wild), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, or even light fish stock
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • A few drops of extra-virgin olive oil
  • A few drops of Tabasco

Wearing rubber gloves, sort through the Nettles, discarding anything you don’t like the look of and any thick stalks. Wash the Nettles and drain in a colander.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 5–7 minutes until softened.

Add the stock, Nettles, potato and carrot. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the potato is soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Using an electric hand-held stick blender, puree the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into warmed bowls and float a teaspoonful of creme fraiche on top. As this melts, swirl in a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and Tabasco.

2 replies
Replied on

...from the other side of the Pond-- what's measurement would a carrier bag be?

Replied on

hi just made your nettle soup recipe after an afternoon of foraging. colours a bit scary, but its delicious. could very easily be spinach soup. whats the difference they are all vegetables and all good stuff. Thanks im very happy. carolyn.

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