Serving
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Nettle Soup
Ireland

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6 soup  
**
1-1/4 hr  
Note-3
Times past in Ireland, nourishing nettles were often made into soup in times of scarcity. Today they remain part of Irish culinary culture. In the photo this soup is garnished with a dollop of cream swirled with a stick, and a grind of pepper, but parsley leaves look good too.



1-1/4
6
12
6
2/3
1/4
3
4-1/2
3/4
#
oz
oz
oz
t
t
T
c
c
Potatoes (1)
Nettles (2)
Leeks
Onion
Salt
Pepper
Butter
Stock
Heavy Cream  
Prep   -   (15 min)
  1. Peel POTATOES and dice about 1/4 inch. Hold in cold water until needed.
  2. Float wash NETTLES like you would spinach. Wear rubber gloves if your skin is tender. Discard tough stems (those turning reddish), drain well and chop medium.
  3. Trim LEEKS down to the white, yellow and light green. Cut in half lengthwise from just below the root to the top. Spread the leaves and rinse well. Start at the top end slice them thin crosswise right down to the root end (see Photo Gallery).
  4. Peel ONION, slice and chop small. Add to leeks.
Run   -   (1 hour)
  1. Heat Butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and fry Leek mix, Salt and Pepper over very moderate heat, stirring often until soft but not at all browned.
  2. Drain Potatoes and stir in
  3. Stir in Stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are quite tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Separate out 3/4 c of Potatoes and set aside for texture.
  5. Stir in Nettles, bring back to a boil and simmer about 2 minutes.
  6. Run in a food processor until purée is quite smooth.
  7. Pour puré and reserved potatoes back into the pot. Bring back to a boil. Add water or stock if needed for consistency.
  8. Turn off heat and stir in Cream. Check seasoning and serve immediately.
NOTES:
  1. Potatoes:   While the Irish use only russets for everything, I use White Rose which stays a little firmer so the reserved cubes work better. For details see our Potato Page.
  2. Nettles:   These should be tender tops of young nettles. If you live in a region with humidity and streams you may be able to cut them yourself (wear gloves - they sting). Here in Southern California they can sometimes be obtained from herb growers at local Farmer's Markets. Incidentally, they are much more likely to sting when you brush against them lightly than when you handle them firmly. For details see our Nettles page.
  3. Do Ahead:   This soup can easily be made well ahead right up to the point of stirring in the nettles. Once the nettles are in it must be finished quickly because the bright green color soon fades.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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