08 Apr Spring Tonic Soup
Are you anxious for some fresh local spring greens? Take a walk by a creek this time of year, and you’re likely to see the bright fuzzy green of stinging nettles peeking throught the damp soil. Nettles are chock full of calcium and rich in many minerals our bodies are craving after a long winter. But be wary when harvesting- they aren’t called stinging nettles for nothing! They must be steamed or cooked to deactivate the sting. Perfect for spring tonic soup!
-Begin by sauteing in 2-3 tbs of butter:
1 bunch of leeks, cleaned and chopped (or substitute onions)
2 carrots, grated
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
-Cover with 2 quarts chicken broth (or water) and bring to a simmer.
-Add 1 cup oat flakes or 1 cup diced potatoes, stir and cover.
While broth is simmering, gather a pair of scissors and a colander or bowl and harvest your greens. You will need 1 large colander of spring nettle tops and 1 large handful of young dandelion greens, or other assorted wild greens: a few small violet leaves, chickweed, garlic grass, garlic mustard greens, dock greens, etc. (We used chickweed.) To avoid the inevitable ‘sting’ of the stinging nettles, snip the tops off with the scissors and allow them to drop right into the colander (Or wear gloves). Use the scissors to cut the tops into smaller pieces while they are still in the colander. If the greens are muddy be sure to rinse them off under cool water.
-The nettles can be dropped right into the soup pot.
-Chop and add other greens to the soup. Let simmer until the greens are very limp but serve while they are still vibrant in color.
-For a bit of lovely creaminess, add a little splash of heavy cream immediately before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Susan Hess of Farm at Coventry. Susan is teaching a number of classes here at Blooming Glen Farm this season. Check out the calendar on our website for more details.