A Sting in the Tale

Nettle Soup

I have hesitated to make nettle soup from The Soup Book but last weekend I decided to overcome my doubts. The spouse and I were having a leisurely, offspring-free day in town and I spotted bagged nettles on a vegetable stall in Meeting House Square. I checked with the stall-holders that they would have nettles again this weekend and determined to go back. The next day I was at a friend's and her husband was about to make nettle soup. My fate was sealed.

I had to bring the younger offspring into town this morning and once I had completed various other errands I made my way to Meeting House Square. I bought the nettles and some chard and spinach for my next soup-making stint.  Yesterday the younger offspring and I could have picked all the free nettles I could ever have wanted down by the local river, but I wondered if they'd been sprayed with anything or by any beast.

On arriving home from town this afternoon I put on my rubber gloves and washed the nettles, leeks, spring onions and potatoes. I was quite anxious about touching the nettles - later I was anxious about tasting the soup before I had pureed the mixture in case the nettles stung my mouth! Prep work completed, I wandered off to do something else. I started cooking at about five o'clock: spring onions, leeks and potatoes heated in olive oil; then in with the stock and the nettles. When the potatoes were tender I used the hand blender to puree the mixture, which looked very green.

I called the spouse and the younger offspring in as I ladled out the soup. A dollop of thick yoghurt and a sprinkling of pepper and we were in business. The spouse was now the hesitant one: he wouldn't put this nettle soup on the "make again" list. Much to my surprise, the offspring liked the soup. So did I - I think it was the velvety texture of the potatoes. Perhaps I'll make it again. I'm hesitating ...Or am I vacillating?

Bee is for Bric-a-Brac

Bees have been in the news here recently. Check out the stories at these links:

Not quite as recent is this story:  New bee name after Sheldon Cooper!

The spouse and I were listening (not attentively) to the radio the other evening when we heard a reference to a poem about bees! I think it's called Sweetness is for the Bees  by Dimitra Xidous.

I re-read The Throwback by Tom Sharpe. I first read it when I was twenty-one. The book was a twenty-first birthday present from my sister's boyfriend. I enjoyed it then and went on to read most of Sharpe's other books. Many years later I hesitate to endorse the anarchy and chauvinism of The Throwback but bees get a mention: "And all summer long the bees in the straw hives buzzed over the heather and young rabbits gambolled outside warrens."

Coming up

Not being able to buy chervil, I jumped at the opportunity to buy a chervil plant recently. I'll have to grow my own. I've also planted parsley. The slugs are in for a treat.

Growing my own chervil.
That's it for today.



  1. HMMMM.....sounds good to me, C

  2. This soup looks great. I did a foraging course in Ballymaloe last April and have done a lot of foraging lately. Although it's probably a bit late I am going to give this soup a try.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Here's a link to a HFW recipe for nettle soup - http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/mar/30/nettle-recipes-hugh-fearnley-whittingstall


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