Day 7 of 30 Days Wild and I had plans for today’s post, which have been scuppered by the weather. By which I do not mean rain stopped play as the day is pretty fair really. No, recent rain has been pouring into the conservatory and so cleaning gutters was the order of the day.
Nettles and bugs
The working half of this partnership went up the ladder whilst I was on Health & Safety watch. Having seen him safely up the ladder and perched precariously on the roof, I wandered about with my camera. I was seeking insects. A bit silly really as the lens I had mounted on the camera was not at all suitable, but I could not go inside to change it due to the water cascading over the conservatory door. I had an accident with my camera recently and think the lens may be damaged. I see things as sharp in the viewfinder but the images come out unfocused – or rather, focused beyond the point that I intended, thus rendering the subject soft. Add that to the fact that it does not have true Macro capability and you begin to see why my photographs are not really doing the subject justice. I also took a photograph of the nettles to explain the scuppering of today’s blog-posting plan. You see, I had intended to make Nettle Soup today and to blog the recipe and process. Of course, Nettle Soup is best made with young nettle tops, before they begin to flower. In the last couple of days my nettles have gone a bit wild, as you can see from the somewhat unfocused photo below. Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves and long sleeves when picking your stinging nettles. Choose the tops of young plants before they begin to flower and/or select fresh looking older leaves. Pick the leaves over, discarding any thick stems. Wash well and drain the leaves before use.
Here is the recipe, for next year perhaps.
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 leek, washed and finely sliced
- 1 large floury potato (Maris Piper or similar), thinly sliced
- 1l vegetable stock
- 400g stinging or dead nettles, washed, leaves picked
- 50g butter, diced
- 50ml double cream
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, leek and potato, and cook for 10 mins until the vegetables start to soften. Add the stock and cook for a further 10-15 mins until the potato is soft.
Add the nettle leaves, simmer for 1 min to wilt, then blend the soup. Season to taste, then stir in the butter and cream. Serve the soup drizzled with extra oil and scattered with dead nettle flowers, if you have them. NB – the soup can be made with either Stinging or Dead nettles. Dead Nettle is a separate plant, not a wilted stinging nettle! Dead Nettle comes in white and purple or red forms.
I am leaning towards testing the recipe using my nettles in their current state. If I do, I shall report back on any major taste difference. I am curious to see if it really is a poor idea to use older nettles.
Starling Nursery Update
Despite the wet weather we had this week, the starlings in the porch (or at least some of them) survive. They have in fact reached the not-really-welcome-any-longer stage.