Sunday, 20 April 2014

Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup

I am drunk with the joys of spring, utterly intoxicated with flowers and leafbuds and the unfurling of wildness in the upthrust of green.  My heart soars with the birdsong in the morning, so warblingly, loopingly, lavishly loud that it seems as if the earth herself has opened her mouth to sing.  There was a Goldfinch here this morning but it didn't sit still for long enough to have it's portrait taken.  For the last few days it's been gloriously sunny so we've been in the garden planting out and mending things.

Fergus mended what had been barely more than a pile of stones at one end of the garden and made a stick henge for the beans.

While I picked things.

One of the many pleasures of spring for us is Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup, It's delicious, health giving and pretty much free! This humble 'weed'  is a natural cleanser that gently stimulates the lymphatic system, supports the liver, kidneys and can also relieve the symptoms of conditions as diverse as Arthritis, Gout and Lupus - to name just a few of it's magics. Truly a medicinal herb worthy of our respect.

Daisy and Druid thought there might be something interesting afoot....

The basket on the right has Ground Elder in it, one of those wonderful edible plants that seems to have as many names as there are places you might find it; Herb Gerard, Bishops Weed, Gout Weed, Snow-in-the-Mountain to name a few, it's actually a member of the carrot family but its leaves look a bit like Elder leaves, hence the name I suppose.  I've found that this is another wild plant made very much more delicious by sharing a pan with some Wild Garlic. Although actually as long as the leaves are young it's pretty yummy by itself.

If you can't find Wild Garlic then Jack-by-the-Hedge will do nearly as well.

Here's my Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup in one of Sharif Adams's beautiful hand carved wooden bowls. I wouldn't normally photograph my supper but it was so gloriously GREEN.

We made Wild Garlic Pesto with the leftovers.  A scrumptious and potent potion if ever there was one.

And then on a different tack entirely - home made Easter Eggs.

Happy Oestre,  Happy Easter, may your basket be full of good things to eat.


  1. Sounds lovely down there. Have you got the soup recipe please? & do the nettles have to be young?

  2. Hi Melinda, yes ideally the nettles should be young, they are much better for you when they are young. A basket of nettles or a large saucepan full (just the top four or six leaves of each stem as these are the most tender), five or six leaves of wild garlic and a potato. Chop the potato into small chunks and boil all the ingredients for about 15 minutes. Whizz with hand blender and season to taste. Easy.