Throughout the lockdown, many of us have been for daily walks, bike-rides and runs, and even discovered completely new routes to venture along. If you’re lucky enough to live close to fields, hedgerows and the countryside, you’ll have probably seen lots of Spring plants emerging over the past month or so. Spring is a time of abundance, and the countryside is literally blooming with edible herbs and flowers right now. It’s always advised to be completely sure about what you’re picking, but when you start to get to know the land around you, you’ll notice just how much there is on offer to add to soups and salads, and to make natural medicines with.
Stinging nettles may not initially sound like the type of plant you’d want to eat, but they come with a host of powerful benefits, and the moment they’re cooked in hot water, they lose their sting completely. Nettles have been used for hundreds of years to treat joint and muscle pain, eczema and anaemia, as well as being anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, and high in nutrients that benefit bone health. Wild garlic is just about to go out of season, so pick it now while you can, as it’s also packed with antioxidants, is a natural antibiotic and antiviral, and is also high in vitamins A and C. The best thing about consuming local plants like these right now, is that they’re the exact foods our bodies are evolved to be eating at this very moment. If we were still living closer to the land and foraging our own food, we’d be eating nettles, wild garlic and even daisies in Springtime. This soup recipe is easy to make, delicious, and pretty much as fresh as you can get!
The spices used in this recipe help stimulate digestion and support Agni – the digestive fire. If you want a more mellow, cooling soup, perhaps use herbs like basil, parsley and coriander.
- 2 large handfuls nettles
- 1 handful wild garlic
- 1 courgette
- 1 shallot or ½ an onion
- ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp coriander
- 1 tsp coconut oil, butter or olive oil
- ½ a stock cube
- ½ litre hot water
- ¼ litre milk of choice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot, and add the shallots or onion, cooking until soft
- Add the spices and stir well, cooking for a minute or so
- Next, chop the courgette and add it to the pot, stirring to coat everything in the spices and oil
- When the courgette is soft, add the stock cube to the hot water and then pour it into the pot
- Cook on a low heat until it begins to simmer
- When simmering, add the nettles to the liquid and bring to a gentle boil briefly
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes
- Add the wild garlic and milk, and continue simmering for a couple of minutes
- Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, then use a hand blender to whizz up the soup
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!