This soup tastes best when the nettles are tender, which is early to mid spring, but they can be picked throughout the summer and fall too. Just don’t pick them when they begin to form flowers. Nettles are known for various health benefits. So go out and pick your nettles, at least half a shopping bag, but don’t forget to wear gloves because nettles do sting before they are cooked. The best nettles are the ones closest to the top of the plant.
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups (1 liter) vegetable broth
- 4 T chives, finely chopped
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 + 2 T vegan butter
- 1 T corn starch
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 T sherry or white wine (optional)
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 egg hard boiled
Prepare the nettles while using disposable gloves. Rinse them carefully and dry them in a towel. Remove the leaves from the stems. Put the leaves in a measuring cup, Use the same amount of vegetable stock as you have leaves. This recipe is made with four cups of nettles.
Heat two cups of vegetable broth in a saucepan and when it boils add the nettles and cook on medium heat for about ten minutes. Put a strainer over another saucepan and strain the nettles. Save the liquid.
In the first saucepan, heat 1 T vegan butter and fry the garlic and shallot until soft. Put aside. In the same saucepan, heat the remaining 2 T vegan butter and add the cornstarch. Mix well. Pour the liquid from the nettles into a measuring cup and add vegetable broth till the required amount. Add a little of the liquid at a time to the cornstarch while whisking constantly. When all the broth is mixed in, add the nettles, chives, and tomato paste. Mix well. Let it simmer for five minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend on high until a smooth consistency. Pour the soup back into the saucepan. Add the lemon juice, and if required, sherry or white wine.
Pour the soup into serving bowls and top it off with half a hard boiled egg.