A friend left a super-stinky bag of fresh nettles for me yesterday. They are so beautiful when young--vibrant, bristley. Vast patches grow along the river here and exude a faint sense of cat pee.
Hardly sounds right, does it? Prickles that sting you and the appetizing smell of urine. Can you think of a better starter for a delicious and nutritious soup?
I carefully washed them today and parboiled them in vegetable broth and water. They turned an even brighter green and the smell was more spinach and less...well, you know.
I whipped them through the blender, then sauteed onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. When all that was tender, I blended about half of that and added all the batches into one large pot. Low simmer for 15 minutes or so, to combine the flavors a bit.
Towards the end of that time, I added a half cup of half and half, and turned off the burner.
I served it for supper with a dollop of sour cream, a scrape of aged parmesan and a crank of fresh black pepper.
O, yea. Hot spring in a wide bowl. A glass of pinot grigio and some crusty bread and it's the best spring tonic.
Okay, the best except for ramps. More on those if I get some tomorrow.
3 days ago