October 23, 2010

Stinging Nettle Soup

Nettles can be such an overlooked ingredient. Maybe people don't really know what to do with them, and consider them as an annoying weed. Perhaps this was the reason why it was rather challenging for me to find stinging nettles here in Sydney. I know they grow wild further away from the city, but I had no luck finding them in my area. Fortunately I did end up finding nettles at Eveleigh markets, but they came with a hefty price tag.

Nettles have many medicinal qualities, and dried nettle root along with the leaves are widely available to be used as herbal teas. Back in Finland, stinging nettles are often used the same way as spinach to make pancakes and soups, like this one. This is such a simple soup, but so delicious!

Stinging Nettle Soup

200g fresh stinging nettles
vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
200ml milk
1 tbsp corn flour or potato starch mixed with some cold water

hard-boiled egg, to serve

1. Wash the nettles (be careful not to touch the leaves as they will sting!) under running water, place them in a large saucepan with water and bring to boil.

2. Blanch the leaves for a couple of minutes then drain and finely chop them (the leaves won't sting after boiling).

3. Return the nettles into the saucepan and cover with vegetable stock (use enough stock to cover and reach a couple of centimetres above the nettles). Bring to boil and let simmer for a few minutes.

4. Take the saucepan off the heat and using a blender or a stab mixer, purée the leaves until fine. Add some freshly ground black pepper and milk and bring the soup back to simmer. Whisk in the flour mixture and simmer for a couple of minutes without letting the soup come to boil. Serve with a hard boiled egg.



  1. Great Picture Maria!

    This was my favorite dish in the age of 3 or 4. I remember how sad I was when I had the flu the day it was served at my kindergarten in 1983:) They did not make it often and I missed it.

  2. My memories of stinging nettle consist of walking through the subtropical rainforest (in my teenage years) through the mountain range that borders New South Wales and Queensland, not eating it from a bowl! Who would have thought those weeds that stung me to agony would be used in a soup in Finland. I've heard of recipes using it and here we have it! Everleigh Markets?

  3. I've never cooked with stinging nettles but I once was served stinging nettle risotto which was delicious. I wonder if I'd find any for sale here in Adelaide? The soup colour is gorgeous and I love that egg floating in the middle - very appealing!

  4. Good call on avoiding the rabbit poison! I've never had stinging nettles but they sound like they've got some great flavor. Awesome dish.

  5. Oh damn, you just reminded me I was going to get some stinging nettles off someone this winter, who offered them in advance many months ago, and I totally forgot about it! Probably too late in the year now, bugger. If I did have some I'd love to make this recipe, looks nice and straightforward but delicious with that colour!

  6. What stunning & beautiful pictures, Maria!! I love this tasty good for you soup!!

    MMMMMMM,...a lovely soup!

  7. I love nettles... and luckily in the mountains near where i live (venice - italy) i still find them even if for us is autumn! i made a similar soup that i hope to publish soon on my blog!
    Love yours... i follow it since a while even if i never left a comment! ...compliments! :)


  8. I don't know what is stinging nettles!? :O *sets off to google*

  9. Oh how interesting, never heard of stinging nettles (or been in contact either). Sounds delish =)

  10. Stinging nettles? I've never even heard of them... very interesting. The soup looks lovely, perfect for the rainy weather we've been having lately!

  11. yum yum! I just made nettle soup the other day. i make a creamy one with nettles, veg stock, oat cream + salt&pepper. deilish!


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