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Iron-rich nettle soup to remind us of the spring

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One of the best herb sources of iron is nettle. When cooked with potatoes and zucchini the healthy and nutritious nettle soup is born.

Have you ever eaten a nettle? If not, you better try this wild herb that plays a key role in the healthy supply of iron. Moreover, the beginning of spring is the best time to harvest the young green leaves of nettle right before they grow tall and start flowering.

In the autumn, I like to harvest the nettle seeds and nettle roots as their medicinal benefits are fabulous.

Why bother with stinging nettle?

Nettle (Urtica dioica) belong to the category of plants that people don’t like to see in their garden. Its stinging power and overall appearance make people avoid any contact with nettle or get rid of it to prevent any stinging accident. I hope that after reading this article you will reconsider.

Despite its first impression, stinging nettle is packed with nutrients and vitamins that its other herbal friends can only envy.

iron rich nettle soup

Healthy benefits of nettle

Nettle (Urtica dioica) contains antioxidants, like lemongrass tea, that can protect from other harmful diseases (1). It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and may help you fight infections (2)

Nettle also contains a significant amount of iron and may also help you with iron deficiency. Known as a blood cleanser and blood building herb, nettle can help your body get back to its form. 

how and when to make nettle soup

Iron deficiency and nettle

The most common cause of iron deficiency is its lack in food. Sometimes we make a mistake when we consume dishes that decrease absorption of iron. Nettle is an ideal herb that contains a high amount of vitamin C that enables the body to absorb a large amount of iron. 

If you eat food rich in iron don’t forget to add some orange or lemon peel when boiling. The vitamin C helps absorb the iron. On the contrary eggs or bran reduce the absorption of iron so try to avoid them when eating iron-rich food. 

I like to eat nettle in smoothies or in pesto. Nettle tea is also delicious and easy to make. But when I made this nutrient-dense nettle soup I thought that this is my favourite dish with nettle.

I also made it for my parents when they came to visit and they were pleasantly surprised with its taste. They eat wild herbs very rarely and when I came home with a basket full of nettle my mom raised her eyebrow if I have any hidden chickens in the backyard to feed them with. I said no, it is for us. 

Another iron-rich herb is dandelion and I love to make dandelion pesto or this nettle and dandelion smoothie that will detox your body, add nutrients and help you get rid of spring fatigue fast.

easy recipe to make nettle soup with zucchini and potatoes

Other ingredients

Zucchini

low in calories, zucchini contains various minerals and vitamins, in particular, high in vitamin A.

Rich in fibre and water, zucchini promote healthy digestion and reduces the risk of constipation.

Potatoes

warming and nutritious potatoes are perfect in our soup as they give it body. In addition, they are easy to puree with nettle and zucchini to make a smooth and rich texture.

Garlic

Garlic reduces blood pressure, improves cholesterol level and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It belongs to every dish and gives the nettle soup its distinctive flavour.

Vegetable broth

I like to buy organic that is free of pesticides and GMO’s. I also check that is free of MSG, natural flavourings or dehydrated vegetable. If you prefer to make it from scratch, check out how to make the vegetable stock the right way.

making spring and delicious nettle soap

How to make an excellent nettle soup that will have a body and a taste?

This stinging nettle soup is a healthy and nutritious puree made of nettles, potatoes and zucchini. Its bright green colour and deliciously nutty taste remind us of the beginning of spring. 

While in the fall I like to warm up with this delicious Hungarian Mushroom soup, my husband’s family favorite recipe.

First step:

Harvest the nettles

We will use the top three pairs of leaves for our recipe.

Grab your rubber gloves and find a place that is safe from dogs or other animal excrements. Your garden is the best place. Use scissors to cut 5-6 stalks with leaves. Keep the rubbers for later when you handling the nettles at home because before cooked they sting. Remember they are harvestable for only a short period of time (about 1 month) so take an advantage and pick more so you can use them later when dry or frozen.

I foraged for the nettle but you can also occasionally find it at farmers markets or upscale grocery stores.

Second step:

With your rubber gloves still on wash the nettles thoroughly and drain in a colander

using gloves when working with stinging nettle

Third step:

Peel off and cut the potatoes into small cubes as well as zucchini.

cutting potatoes in cubes for nettle soup
cutting zucchini to make nettle soup

Fourth step:

Take a medium-size casserole, place potatoes, zucchini, 1 garlic clove and nettles (still use gloves!) into a casserole. 

Fifth step:

Pour over the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft, approximately 15 minutes. 

cooking nettle, potatoes, zucchini and vegetable broth to make nettle soup

Sixth step:

Remove from the heat. Use a high-speed blender to puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper as per your taste

using blender to puree the nettle soup

You can serve this nettle soup with:

  • Roasted sunflower seeds or seed crackers.
  • Wild plants – red clover, violets, daisy
  • Fried onion or these air fryer onion rings
  • Sour cream or cream
  • a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated cheese
nettle soup with fried onion and chives
Can you freeze nettle soup?

The season of young nettles is short so to prolong it I either dry the nettles or freeze them in a ziplock bag. The texture will slightly change their content of iron however the nutrients remains the same and I can still use them in soups or smoothies. Freezing the soup in a ziplock bag is also an alternative that will increase its shelflife for up to 3 months. I suggest labelling with the date so you can keep a track of it when it will expire.

What does nettle soup taste like?

If you like the taste of spinach or arugula you will like the taste of nettle soup. It has a mild, slightly nutty flavour with a bit of peppery bite. 

Yield: 4 people

Iron rich nettle soup

iron rich nettle soup

One of the best herb sources of iron is nettle. When cooked with potatoes and zucchini the healthy and nutritious nettle soup is born.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Harvest the nettles
  2. With your rubber gloves still on wash the nettles thoroughly and drain in a colander
  3. Peel off and cut the potatoes into small cubes as well as zucchini.
  4. Take a medium-size casserole, place potatoes, zucchini, 1 garlic clove and nettles (still use gloves!) into a casserole. 
  5. Pour over the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft, approximately 15 minutes. 
  6. Remove from the heat. Use a high-speed blender to puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper as per your taste

Notes

other options to serve the nettle soup with:

  • Roasted sunflower seeds
  • Wild plants - red clover, violets, daisy
  • Fried onion
  • Sour cream or cream
  • a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated cheese

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2608mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

What is your favorite recipe with nettles? Please share below.

Vladka Merva on March 2nd, 2020

5 Comments on “Iron-rich nettle soup to remind us of the spring”

  1. Look at that gorgeous color! I just found an old English recipe for a nettle pastry and seem to be running into them everywhere. I planted my first nettle last year and the universe must know I need recipe ideas. Thank you for this one!

    Reply
  2. You made the soup so pretty, I’m going to have to try to replicate that LOL! I love learning about natural sources for the elements we need, and I never heard of nettle soup before. I’m going to give it a try!

    Reply
  3. I love nettle tea, but I have never had nettle soup! I live in the Pacific Northwest, so in spring we have Nettles all over the place! I can’t wait to forage some and make this soup. Pinning for later! Thank you!

    Reply
  4. This sounds yummy! Thanks for the directions on harvesting the nettles, too!
    I’m not sure if we have any stinging nettles in our area. I need to check on that. I will definitely try this recipe if I can find some though!

    Reply

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