Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Credit crunch cooking no. 4 - nettle soup

I made nettle soup last year but I overdid the quantity of nettle (and wild garlic) I added to it. So this time I decided to limit what I put in. Nevertheless, this counts as one of my credit crunch recipes and the contents were made from waste products of from food growing wild. This is also not a vegetarian meal as it contains chicken stock.

So let's start with making chicken stock.

For this you need one chicken carcass. Break it up and put it in a pan. Then search your fridge for all those old vegetables that are well past their best. I used an onion, 2 bunches of spring onions, some sticks of celery and some old carrots. I also put in some fresh rosemary and thyme from the garden.

Add all these to the pan and then cover with water. Boil for about an hour then strain off the liquid which is your stock. You can use this straight away of freeze it.

We also put the carrots, celery and onion used to make the stock into the freezer and later used them as part of a vegetable soup mix (though remember they were cooked initially with chicken).

The nettle soup recipe

Add the stock to a pan. Chop an onion and add this to the stock. Add a few fresh herbs, such as a bit of thyme, to taste. I also added a sprinking of caraway seeds.

Add in a handful of nettle leaves (avoid older, darker green leaves, use the younger ones - and remember to take a pair of gloves with you when you pick them).

Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then enjoy.

There we have it, a recipe made from the contents of the fridge which would otherwise have ended up on the compost heap, and from the garden and foraged wild.

Nettles are full of iron. A healthy plant that is too often simply considered as a weed. Time to take a new look at it.

No comments: