It's that time of year again, when my Nettle patch explodes with growth, after a long hot Summer. Nettles die back in the Summer after flowering, and stay pretty much dried up till the days start getting shorter and cooler.
I was trying to think of something different to do with the Nettles and I kept thinking SOUP. I have made a classic Nettles potato soup before ( http://ethnobotanist128.blogspot.com/2011/04/nettlespotato-soup.html ) but I wanted to try something different. The only other thing ready in my garden is Sweet Potatoes, so I wondered how it would taste substituting Sweet for regular Potatoes in the soup. I dug up a bunch of Sweet potatoes and cut just the succulent tops of the Nettles and headed for the kitchen.
I cleaned and diced the Sweet Potatoes, covered them with water, and cooked till tender. I added the Nettles and cooked for another 8-10 min. I added just a little salt and pureed the mixture till it was a smooth consistency. Now was the time to taste.
Wow, it was so good! Way better than with the Regular potatoes. The unique taste of the Nettles and the sweetness of the potatoes was a great combo. I ate two bowls!
Than I started to think what else can I do with this soup. The next day I decide to add some Curry powder and a touch of Organic Butter to a bowl of soup and it was amazing! Than for lunch the next day I added some leftover cooked Black Beans for some extra body and the soup was delicious and filling at the same time. Any one of these combos would be even better with a little Organic heavy cream in them which would make it a nice rich cream soup guaranteed to fill you up. You could also start the soup with Chicken Stock instead of water for another flavor all together.
Nettles are high in protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is one of the most nutritious plants on the planet, not to mention all the Medicinal value each part of the plant has to offer. So, find a safe patch of Nettle and bring some home an give them a special place in your garden so you can have them handy.