In the months of March and April, one of the first wild foods that I forage is the stinging nettles and the decorative dead-purple nettles. The fresh new nettle shoots are perfect for a homemade nettle soup.
This vegan nettle soup is made with coconut milk, potatoes, onions, garlic, and vegetable stock, which makes it a delicate and easy soup to make. The vegan nettle soup can be served as an appetizer or as dinner together with some fresh bread. You can always make the nettle soup with chicken stock and heavy cream instead of vegetable stock and coconut milk if you are more into that.
Nettles are an excellent wild food to forage in spring. They are growing from March to November and can be found almost everywhere. In the early spring, the whole plant can be eaten, and later in the season, it is best to harvest the younger leaves only.
You can read more about foraging in this Introduction to Foraging article.
Vegan Nettle Soup
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) fresh nettles (including the stems)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 small onions, diced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 4 ¼ cups (1 liter) vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup (1 deciliter) coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Rinse the nettles thoroughly in a colander.
- Since we only use the nettle leaves, remove the nettle stems using gloves or cut them off with a scissor.
- In a large pot, heat up the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
- Add potatoes and let cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- When the potatoes are tender, add lemon juice and nettle leaves. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and blend the soup.
- Put the soup back on the heat, and add coconut milk, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.