- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 onion, chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 1 carrot, diced
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 1 leek, washed and finely sliced
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 1 large floury potato (Maris Piper or similar), thinly sliced
The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…
- 1l vegetable stock
- 400g stinging or dead nettles, washed, leaves picked (see tips below)
- 50g butter, diced
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 50ml double cream
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, leek and potato, and cook for 10 mins until the vegetables start to soften. Add the stock and cook for a further 10-15 mins until the potato is soft.
Add the nettle leaves, simmer for 1 min to wilt, then blend the soup. Season to taste, then stir in the butter and cream. Serve the soup drizzled with extra oil and scattered with dead nettle flowers, if you have them.
Dead nettlesThis is a different plant from the stinger, but gets its name because, although the leaves look the same, they don’t sting. They have either white or purple edible flowers, and can be cooked in the same way as stingers.
Stinging nettlesThese grow in abundance and are best eaten before they flower in late May. Wear gloves to save yourself getting stung – I find that a pair of washing-up gloves gives you lots of control over your picking, as well as shielding the top of your arms if you’re in a T-shirt. Wash the nettles well before cooking.