This soup was inspired by a foraging trip a couple of months ago with a UK medical herbalist, Jesper Launder and one of the first forage items he introduced us to was nettles! Now they are particularly rich in iron and have anti-inflammatory properties, so if you get stung whilst picking nettles, it’s actually a good thing! Thrash an aching knee or back with a bunch of nettles and whilst it may hurt, the sting will stimulate the blood flow and attack the pain-causing elements around your joints! What’s not to like? Check out this page for other nettle uses.
Thus, whilst the nettles are still flourishing at the bottom of our garden and after collecting some more wild garlic on a recent day out, it seems pertinent to get mixin’. Any day is of course a soup day for us, even in Summer! Mr T takes soup when he’s out and about and Master T takes it to school for lunch too.
I’ve Thermomixed Jesper’s recipe and made it dairy free and I must say, it’s become a particular hit amongst us!
Right, here we go … assuming you’ve picked some wild garlic and gathered a couple of handfuls of nettles, sit the nettles in boiling hot water to wash, blanche and de-sting whilst you get on with the soup:
Add to clean, dry bowl and whizz up on speed 9 / 10 seconds, then set aside:
- 40-50g cashew nuts (this is your DF ‘creaminess’)
Add to empty bowl and chop speed 7-9 / 5 seconds:
- Wild garlic + whatever other ‘wild things’ you may have foraged, washed a couple of times and dried in a salad spinner. Otherwise, just use a few bulbs of normal garlic.
- Chunk of ginger, cut into coins
- 1 medium potato, washed/scrubbed and roughly chopped into chunks
Add and cook for 15 minutes / speed 1-2 / 100deg:
- 2 tbs stock paste
- 1L water (I use left-over cooking water, which is usually lurking in my fridge) or chicken bone stock, skimmed of any fat
I also been known to add a few tablespoons of left-over satay sauce from a previous night’s dinner
Meanwhile, towards the end of cooking, rinse the nettles in cold water and dry in a salad spinner, then roughly chop up to stop Thermie vibrating too much when you add the nettles and purée!
Add to the soup and purée 1 minute / speed 9:
- Chopped nettles
- Ground cashews
Season to taste and serve with some gluten free / grain-free bread or ‘forage fritters’.
Whizz up for 5-10 seconds / speed 9, then scrape down the sides:
- 15-20g “forage” – we used wild garlic and 3-cornered leeks
Add and blend for 15-20 seconds / speed 5:
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbs natural yogurt (we used home-made Thermie yogurt – use a DF alternative if need be)
- 60g polenta or maize meal
- 1 tsp date paste
- Seasoning – to taste
Meanwhile, heat in a fry pan:
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
Drop a ladleful of the mixture into the oil and fry for a few minutes, turning once.
Miss Thermie garnished with crumbled feta cheese …
* based on one of The Lunchbox Doctor’s fritter recipes.