Just over our back fence is a prolific jungle of stinging nettle. I have always viewed stinging nettle as a bit of a nuisance because touch it with your skin and it’s very unpleasant, leaving a stinging sensation for sometimes a day or two. However I recently discovered that the leaves of stinging nettle are super nutritious because they contain iron, and quite a lot of it too, as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and more. Stinging nettle also has anti-inflammatory properties and makes an effective treatment for arthritis.
I love being able to go outside and gather food without having to visit a supermarket. There’s something even more exciting about using wild food that grows without any human input and it’s somehow reassuring knowing that if we ever faced food rationing again one day, we’d still be able to eat the wild stinging nettle. Just make sure you wear gloves when you pick the leaves otherwise it will hurt.
What did we do with all those leaves? We made a stinging nettle soup based on this recipe, which looked appealing. Here’s my version:
4 cups of chopped stinging nettle leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 red onion
2 stalks celery
a bunch of chives, chopped
1/2 cup of brown rice
hemp oil (olive oil or any other oil would be fine)
1 tblsp soy sauce
2 vegetable stock cubes
5 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of ground cashew nuts
Fry the onion and garlic until clear then add all the other ingredients (except lemon juice and cashews) and simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is done. Add the cashews and lemon at the end. Then use a stick blender to puree it and serve.
We have lots of chives growing in our garden so we didn’t have to buy these either.
My badass look.
Ben insisted on posing for a photo. How vain is he?
So what’s the verdict?
Delicious! It was maybe a bit thick and so depending on which type of rice you use it could do with some extra water. The kids said it was, “kind of ok” which is fantastic praise for something green.