Grasping the nettle

Nettle and potato soup. Photo by Simon Lambert.
Photo: Simon Lambert

Alison Lambert shares a surprising soup with a difference.

I may seem a little obsessed with my exciting find with these nutritional wild nettles but their flavour, texture and health benefits have impressed me.

This soup is thick, creamy and surprisingly mild in flavour.

Don't forget the gloves when gathering and preparing.


Nettle and potato soup

Makes 1.5 litres

50g butter or 2 Tbsp oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 leek, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
500g potatoes, washed
400g (approx) stinging nettles
salt and pepper
sour cream or creme fraiche to serve (optional)


Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pot, add the onions, leeks and garlic and cook over a gentle heat for 10min without colouring to soften the onions and leeks and to sweeten them.

Add the potatoes and cook for a further 5min. Cover with 1.5 litres of water or vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil, add the nettles (wearing gloves) and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer and continue to cook until the potatoes are soft and the soup is tasty and thick (25min-35min).

Remove from the heat and puree with stick blender until smooth.

Return to heat, adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve with a spoonful of soured cream if desired.

Alison Lambert is one of the demonstrators at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday  mornings.

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