Updated: Aug 8, 2019
Or rather, the European equivalent: Nettle soup. Who knew?
I can't say this is something I am looking forward to, but mine is to do, not to complain. Although, complain I do.
First things first, is to check out recipes for Nettle Soup. Quite a few advise making this in Spring. Given moving seasons is not one of my super-powers, early August nettles will have to suffice. I then have to scour through all the webpages, reading through the blurb and advertising as to how nettles have them reminiscing about some calamity or other they endured as a youngster involving bikes and nettles in order to decipher what ingredients may be required. Clearly their youth was not mis-spent - for me, it was copping off with some boy in a field. Can't remember the lad's name. Can remember the pain.
I find a relatively simple recipe involving 500g of nettles. Almost all bloggers describe this soup as 'exquisite', 'excellent', 'vibrant' and 'dense and delicious'. I am skeptical.
1 pair of gloves. I chose welding gloves, but other types are available.
2 large bowls
1 pair of scissors
1 x handy lane
Cooks' tip: (Optional) Avoid picking nettles that aren't high up. Dog's piss on them. Although, I can't imagine this soup is going to be any more appetising with or without dog's piss.
500g of nettles. I got bored after collecting 103g so divided the recipe by 1/5.
1) Collect 103g of nettles. Realised at least 3g of nettle collected are in fact bugs. Bugs! Crawling freaking everywhere.
2) Disinfect kitchen.
3) Boil nettles in hot water for 1 - 2 minutes to get rid of, and I quote, "most of the stings."
4) Fry off 1/5 of an onion in 1/5 of 2 tbsp of olive oil, add 1/5 of a litre of vegetable stock.
5) Add a garlic clove. The recipe didn't call for this but whatever.
6) Add 1/5 of 2 tbsps of basmati rice.
7) Drain boiled nettles. Add to 1/5th onions etc.
8) Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Whilst one is waiting, use this time to remove all the burrs covering one's shoes and trousers from foraging expedition.
9) Puree with a puree thingy machine.
10) Add salt and pepper to taste. This will not actually improve the taste, but it does make one feel all cheffy.
Tastes like forest floor, except hotter, and with salt and pepper. Or more accurately, like an (almost) vegetarian version of cod liver oil.
Tip the remainder down the drain and dive into homemade rhubarb crumble with homemade custard foam (not sure it was supposed to be a foam but it was lovely). No Intercourse. A little like my foray in a field with that random bloke.