Stinging Nettle and Potato Soup

by Matthew Evans

Ingredients

Vegetable stock
4 litres water
250 g mushrooms
5 thyme sprigs
4 bay leaves
2 leeks, trimmings only (or use 2 onions)
4 spring garlic, trimmings only (or use 4–5 garlic cloves)

Soup
150 g butter
2 medium brown onions, diced
2 leeks, pale parts only, washed well and chopped roughly
several large handfuls nettle leaves
1 kg potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

Directions

To make the stock place, all the ingredients in a stockpot and bring to the boil. Turn down to low and simmer for 2 hours. Strain and discard the solids.

To make the soup, heat the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Gently fry the onion and leek for about 10 minutes to really soften and extract their sweetness, without browning them. While that is gently sweating down, remove the nettle leaves from the stems (using gloves to protect from the stingers!). Wash the nettle leaves in plenty of fresh water and drain. Add the nettle leaves to the onion and leek, then add the vegetable stock and chopped potato. Bring to the boil, turn down, and simmer the soup over a low heat until the potato is soft and falling apart. Remove from the heat and puree to smooth texture. Return to the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot.

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