Nettles are an amazingly healing plant! Are a wild and free super-healthy food that grows abundantly during its season. Considered the “seaweed of the land,” because of its high mineral content, calcium, magnesium, iron, silica, iodine, and potassium.
- ½ colander of nettles. (When picking nettles, only select fresh healthy young leaves and tops)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 1 medium potato, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
- Chicken, or vegetable stock (fresh is best, but stock cubes/powder are ok too)
- 1 tbsp thick cream (optional)
To take the sting out of the nettles, place them in a heatproof bowl or a pot. Boil some water in the kettle, then pour it over the nettles. Allow them to sit for 30 seconds, then drain, allow to cool slightly and discard any stems.
Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and potato in a pan with enough stock to cover. Simmer until potato is soft. Add nettles to the pan and cook for another 5-10 mins until nettles are tender (add more stock if necessary). Blend with a hand blender or food processor until smooth. Add more stock if desired to reach the desired consistency. Season, and stir in cream if using just before serving.
Be careful not to overcook the soup or the vegetables will discolour and also lose their flavour.
In Chinese Medicine: Nettle helps build Essence (Jing) (a deep energy in your body which is responsible for growth and reproduction and life expectancy). Tonifies Yin, Blood and clears toxins from the body.
Caution: Do not eat raw nettles!
Fresh nettles are best picked between february and April, when the nettles are young. Other than this time it is best to pick only the young sprouts in the heads of the mature plant.
James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur