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Nettle Soup (Nässelsoppa)

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Nettle Soup (Nässelsoppa)

Nettle Soup (Nässelsoppa)

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com
Nettles, rich in vitamins, flavonoids, serotonin, and histamines, are a gift of Spring. Enjoy them in this delicately flavored soup.

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups washed nettle leaves
  • water to cover
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups light cream or half-and-half
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped or cut into slices, for garnish

Preparation:

Harvest, prepare, and wash a plastic bag-full of fresh stinging nettle leaves, about 10-12 cups.

Use slotted spoon to carefully place washed nettle leaves in large saucepan, without touching them. Add water to cover, and bring to a low simmer. Blanch leaves for 10-15 minutes, until tender (Note: they’ll be safe to touch once blanched!)

Place blanched nettles with one cup cooking water into food processor and chop finely (don’t puree them). Discard the rest of the cooking water.

Heat butter and flour together in saucepan over medium-high heat to make a light roux. Lower heat to medium, add chopped red onion, garlic, and chives, and sauté until onion is opaque.

Whisk in stock, salt, white pepper, thyme, and nutmeg, stirring until roux is well-incorporated. Stir in processed nettle mixture, then gradually whisk in light cream or half-and-half. Heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Pour into soup bowls, garnish with chopped or sliced hard-boiled eggs, and serve.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

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