NETTLE, LEEK & POTATO SOUP
Complete Guide to Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cooking
by Glenis Lucas
At a restaurant, many years ago, I tried nettle and potato soup (feeling rather adventurous). I've never forgotten that delicious soup, so please do try this as a spring tonic. Nettles have been used medicinally for centuries. They have a detoxifying action on the body and are iron rich. Their nutrients strengthen the immune system, aiding healing and health. They contain the trace mineral boron, also calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and good quality protein. Use protective gloves to pick the nettles from an unpolluted source. Nettle tea can also be made from the freshly picked leaves and, when cooked as a vegetable, nettles taste rather like spinach.
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 30 minutes for 3 simmerings
• 75g (2 1/4 oz) (1 cup) leek, the white and yellow part only
• 225g (8 oz} (1 1/2 cups) potato, peeled and diced small
• 25g (1 oz) (1 1/4 tablespoons) dairy-free margarine
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 455ml (16 fl 02) (2 cups less 1 tablespoon) boiling water
• 20g (3/4 oz) stinging nettle leaves, the new spring growth
• 3 tablespoons unsweetened soya milk
Slice the leeks lengthways and, if necessary, rinse well to remove any soil, shaking well to remove excess water. Slice thinly. Add the prepared leeks and diced potatoes to the melted margarine in a medium saucepan. Season well. Stir to coat evenly then cover and simmer for 9-10 minutes on a very low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the water, bring to the boil and continue to simmer for a further 13-15 minutes until tender.
Rinse the nettle leaves, cut roughly and add to the soup. Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes. Liquidize the soup then stir in the milk. Season with a little extra pepper to serve.