Nettle soup - the spring
Finally, the long-awaited warm green spring has arrived! Young greens hasten to grow around: leaflets bloom on the trees, sprouts break out from the ground, vegetable gardens delight summer residents with the first harvest of vitamin greens! Green onion feathers, the first sorrel for borsch, fragrant wild garlic ... and this is what ?! Nettle? Do not rush to identify the burning beauty in the weeds and pull out with the root! If the nettle has grown in your summer cottage - it's great! Why? And because of the nettle you can cook a lot of delicious and healthy spring dishes. Nettles produce delicious, original salads and soups, they are placed in green borscht, even in pies and pancakes.
Young nettles are best suited for cooking: fresh, clean, it doesn’t “bite” much when harvested, its leaves are tender, and there are twice as much vitamin C in young nettle leaves as in black currant.
In addition to ascorbic acid, nettle is full of other useful substances, starting with vitamins (A, K, B1, B5), silicic and formic acid (due to which nettle and sting), and ending with trace elements (calcium, potassium, iron).
Nettle is a real storehouse of utilities. But you should not get too carried away with it either, since nettle not only cleanses the blood, but also, thanks to vitamin K, increases its coagulability.
You can collect nettles for culinary purposes not only in April-May, but throughout the summer. Just pluck not the whole stem, but only the very top: the first four leaves. And so that the nettle does not sting during the collection, wear garden gloves. And, of course, we collect nettles not on the road, but in ecologically clean places: in a village, in a forest, on our own plot.
Gathered? And now let's cook spring nettle soup!
Ingredients for Young Nettle Soup
For 2-2.5 liters of water or broth:
- 3-5 medium potatoes;
- On request - 1 small carrot (although nettle soup is good even without carrots);
- 3-4 hard boiled eggs;
- An armful of young nettle (200g);
- You can add other greens available in the garden - green onions, parsley, dill;
- Salt to taste;
- For serving - sour cream.
How to make nettle soup
As a basis for nettle soup, water and broth, chicken or meat, are suitable. If you cook on the broth, boil chicken or meat in advance (put it in cold water, bring to a boil, drain the first water, collect new and cook for milder softness). You can separately cook meat or chicken and then add to the finished soup.
Put a pot of water or broth on the fire. While boiling, wash and peel the potatoes and carrots. We cut the potatoes into small pieces, and the carrots into circles, and lower them into boiling water. Cook over medium heat under a lid for 10-12 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, and in the meantime prepare the greens.
Whatever the nettle net, the leaves should be washed with dust. We sort them out, if necessary, put in a bowl filled with cold water for 5-7 minutes. It is not worth it to drain the water from the bowl so that the dirt settled to the bottom does not fall onto the greens again - it is better to catch the nettles, put them in a colander and rinse under running water.
Then again we put the nettle leaves in a bowl and pour boiling water so that they do not sting and you can easily chop them for soup.
The rest of the greens (onions, parsley, dill) are also held in cold water, and then washed under the tap. Greens are the basis of nettle soup.
Add greens to the pan with potatoes and carrots, salt to taste and cook for another five minutes. Nettle soup is ready.
Serve nettle soup fresh, putting in a plate a hard-boiled egg (slices or halves) and a spoonful of sour cream. Try it and nettle soup will be one of your favorite spring dishes!