Cream of nettle soup is the ultimate springtime treat and so nutritious and easy to make too. So instead of cursing nettles when they invade your garden in spring try making this tasty cream of nettle soup and eating them instead!
This really is Spring time in a bowl. And don’t worry, there is no sting in this soup, it is as delicate in flavour as it is in colour. Simply beautiful. I love cream of nettle soup and look forward to making it every year when the nettles first pop up.
Nettles have been used for thousands of years as a herbal remedy to detoxify the body, they are anti-inflammatory and can also help with circulation, allergies, hormonal regulation, and prostate issues.
Nettle tea is the most popular way of using stinging nettles and nettle soup is the most famous way of eating them.
What type of nettles to use
You want to use just the tops of the nettles and young plants at that. No gnarly old dark green leaves for this soup please.
Foraging for nettles
Never pick your nettles at the side of a busy road where car fumes will have contaminated them. Also do not pick nettles to make this nettle soup anywhere where dogs could pee on them.
Using stinging nettles
Obviously, the first thing to remember with this recipe is that nettles sting so wear gardening gloves or rubber gloves when snipping off the tops. Even more important is wearing the gloves when you have to remove the leaves from the stems.
I know this seems a faff but the leaves are really the flavourful part of the plant and the stalks even of young plants can be stringy.
So take your time and take care. And just to get this bit out of the way quickly you will need quite a few nettle tops. 500g worth which is about half a carrier bag of the damn things.
Ingredients for nettle soup
Stinging nettles, as I’ve said you need a lot of nettle tops for this cream of nettle soup recipe, about 500g of them.
Onion, garlic and a carrot form the base of your nettle soup and a potato helps to thicken the stinging nettle soup beautifully.
Spices – I like to add some spice for flavour so use grated nutmeg and chilli flakes to add a kick to my nettle soup recipe.
Stock – use either vegetable stock or chicken stock to make your soup.
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make nettle soup
This is such a simple and easy soup to make. All you have to do is saute the onion and garlic first then add the nettles and other ingredients plus the stock.
Add the spices and seasoning and simmer your nettle soup for about 20-25 minutes till everything is tender.
Whizz everything up with a stick blender and stir in the cream and there you have it – cream of nettle soup. Super nutritious and simply delicious.
This recipe is all about using what’s free (foraging for the nettles) and what’s in the larder and veg box and the scraps.
Yes, even the peelings from the potato that I put into this cream of nettle soup to give it a bit of texture and thicken it are used to make little crisps to decorate and add a bit of crunch.
By the way I have to point out that in the photos above it is a piece of parsley that is nestling among the potato peel crisps on top of the soup and NOT a nettle leaf.
Do not under any circumstances garnish your cream of nettle soup with actual nettles.
Nettles lose their sting when cooked. Your family/friends would not thank you for a nibble on a fresh nettle leaf no matter how in keeping it was as a garnish!
Looking for other soup recipes? Then check out all the spoonable goodness in my Soup Section.
Fancy some more foraging recipes? Then check these out before you go;
Spiced crab apple jelly with whisky
sweet and sour pickled blackberries
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Super Easy Cream of Nettle Soup
- 500 g stinging nettles nettle tops
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large potato peeled and keep the peel for the crisps
- 1 small carrot diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 750 ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg grated
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 225 ml cream
For the potato peel crisps
- 1 tsp olive oil
- peel strips from the potato used in soup
- pinch of chilli flakes
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Saute the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes then add garlic for 1 minute
- Add the carrot and chopped potato and cook for 5 minutes
- Toss in the nettle leaves plus the nutmeg, seasoning and chilli flakes and add the stock and simmer for 25 minutes till veg is tender
- Whizz with hand held blender till smooth
- Stir through the cream till completely blended
Make the potato peel crisps
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Place the potato peel on a baking tray and sprinkle with the salt and chilli flakes and drizzle over the olive oil
- Massage all this into the peels and pop into oven for 15 minutes or until brown and crisp
- Serve the potato peel crisps on top of the soup along with a swirl of cream or Greek yogurt
Caroline Donaldson says
Delicious with a delicate flavour , I especially loved the addition of nutmeg. Easy to make- loved foraging for the leaves. Used Greek yogurt instead of cream as we are in lockdown and it was what I had & it worked well. The potato crisps on top add a lovely crunchy texture. Will definitely be making this again.
Karon Grieve says
Glad you liked the recipe so much. I often use Greek yogurt instead of cream. Just happened to have cream to hand when I made this soup . At least this is a way to keep on top of the nettles a bit!