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nettle soup/free food anyone?

(16 Posts)
apatchylass Fri 17-May-13 12:50:36

A friend of mine (who has no credit crunch issues at all) is always going on about eating nettles and dandelions. At this time of year she has them every day. As they grow in my garden more profusely than anything else, I was wondering about them. But i feel very dubious about putting nettles in my mouth. Can anyone else reassure me they don't sting and that they taste OK?

apatchylass Fri 17-May-13 12:57:01

Bit sad answering my own post grin but just remembered - I used to love buying fresh flowers for the house- spent about £10 pw on them, easily. yesterday I noticed a lilac in full bloom at the bottom of our garden, which can't be seen from anywhere unless you are behind the compost. Must have self seeded from somewhere. Cut armfuls of the stuff, as it won't be appreciated anywhere else, and filled the house with flowers. All free and looks like super-expensive blooms from a trendy Islington florist.

BayeauxT Fri 17-May-13 14:04:47

Nettle soup is fab. I've been meaning go out and pick some for ages - just need to find the time. I usually try and pick the smaller/younger nettles - must have read that somewhere. There is no sting when you eat it and is v delicious! I don't have a recipe to hand but there are loads online I'm sure.

Forgetfulmog Fri 17-May-13 14:08:01

Wear rubber gloves when you go picking & always pick the new leaves at the top of the nettle; the bigger leaves near the bottom are very glutinous (apparently).

Also, hope you're not superstitious, but bringing lilac in the house is seen by some as unlucky

apatchylass Fri 17-May-13 14:14:23

Thanks - everyone seems to say only the younger leaves, so I'll go with that. Found a few recipes online. Wonder if DC will eat it...

Forgetfulmog Is it? Why? Lilac smells and looks gorgeous. I added a bit of cherry blossom too, so that'll counteract any bad luck, I'm sure!

Forgetfulmog Fri 17-May-13 14:18:25

It's something to do with the scent - as it's such a strong smell, it was used in the past to mask the smell of death. Over time, it has become inextricably linked with death & is sometimes thought that it will cause death if brought into the house

All a load of crap of course, but food for thought!

Yes I agree though that it does have a lovely smell

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 17-May-13 19:59:02

Just stay away from mushrooms, a woman died recently from eating wild mushrooms.

It's a bit of an art recognising the different species.

PlatoonBuffoon Fri 17-May-13 20:03:33

Wild garlic also makes lovely soup. And you could have a crack at elderflower champagne if you can find any elderflowers. They are normally out by now, but none round my way yet...

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Fri 17-May-13 20:04:15

I love nettle soup! Use small new shoots, don't forget to wear gloves. Oh and pick them where dogs cant wee!! Then just rinse them well and add them to sautéed onion and garlic. Chuck in some diced potatoes- floury ones if you have them, then cover with stock and simmer till the potatoes are soft. Liquidise. Then serve with a dollop of yogurt and a good grating of nutmeg on top. Lush.

apatchylass Sat 18-May-13 13:37:55

Just had it for lunch. Even DS1 had some. It was lovely. Did as you all suggested and only picked the tips. Cooked with onion, garlic, potato, peas, chicken stock and a few leaves of mint. Delicious.

Elderflower is a great idea. My mum used to make elderflower tempura when we were little, and my sis makes the cordial.

We have wild garlic in the garden - I'll use that in soups and salad too.

Any others good for this time of year?

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Sat 18-May-13 14:28:55

The wild horseradish is just coming up so you can see where it is, that's lovely mixed with yogurt and dolloped into the soup.

You can eat dandelion leaves too but again look in an animal wee free zone! Cook like any greens.

apatchylass Sat 18-May-13 15:51:40

Thanks for horseradish suggestion. Just picked a massive bunch of dandelions today. Was going to dry them for the guinea pigs as they get through so many dried ones in the winter at £3 a bag! But might try some cooked. A friend eats them raw in salad, but I tried one today and it was fairly bitter. Maybe the very young leaves are OK.

BoffinMum Sat 25-May-13 09:00:20

I deal with a lot of this sort of thing on my blog. You might like to try the 'thin' recipe next time. I've made both kinds and they are lovely.

Nettle soup recipes

apatchylass Sat 25-May-13 21:49:00

Thanks BoffinMum. I did fancy a fresher tasting recipe too, so will look at the thin recipe. We have enough nettles in the field to keep us going for weeks.

Had wild garlic with pasta for tea last night. It was gorgeous, just lightly friend and stirred into the pasta with cheap pick-your-own asparagus. Highly recommend it.

apatchylass Sat 25-May-13 21:51:36

Boffin - how do you wash the nettles? I just rinsed them well in water - but should I have salted the water first?

And um - that garlic was lightly fried, not lightly friend blush. Can't even blame predictive texting for that one.

BoffinMum Sun 26-May-13 12:57:04

I just pick tops and rinse them quickly. You are going to be boiling it all up anyway.

You can use nettles in a lot of recipes where you would use spinach, btw. Or sorrel. Cooked, obv! wink

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