It’s a really good time to go and pick some young fresh Nettles ( don’t forget the gloves ). It’s amazing the taste that they produce. They are a top herb for your liver and an added side effect is they increase your libido. It’s all good so here is a recipe for you to try.
150 g (5 oz) young nettles
50 g (4 tablespoons) butter
275 g (10 oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped
100 g (4 oz) onion, chopped
100 g (4 oz) leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) good-quality chicken stock
125 ml (1/2 cup) cream or full-fat milk (optional)
Brown Bread to serve
To take the sting out of the nettles, place them in a heatproof bowl or a pot. Boil some water in the kettle, then pour it over the nettles. Allow them to sit for 30 seconds, then drain, allow to cool slightly and discard any stems. Roughly chop the leaves and set them aside.
Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot, ideally one with a tight-fitting lid, over a medium heat. Add in the chopped potatoes, onions and leeks and toss them in the butter until well coated. Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pot and cook the vegetables over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft but not coloured. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the chopped nettle leaves and simmer, uncovered, for just a few minutes more. Be careful not to overcook the soup at this point or the vegetables will discolour and will also lose their flavour. Liquidize the soup, then add the cream or milk, if using — check the consistency of the soup first, as you don’t want it to be too thin — and stir it through and reheat. Alternatively, you could just add a drizzle of cream to each bowl to garnish. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Serve hot with thick slices of Irish brown bread.