Creamy, easy homemade nettle soup recipe with Feta Cheese and crunchy walnuts. If you are a fan of nettle this soup might become a favorite. It’s an old family recipe everyone loves around spring time.
Have you ever tried cooking with nettle? In Eastern Europe (and the UK) it’s pretty common to have nettle soup especially in spring when this healthy plant starts to grow. We even get it at the supermarket. Growing up, I didn’t like nettle soup as much as I do now.
This creamy nettle soup recipe is one handed down generations. It’s healthy, green, easy really easy to make. Make sure to add Feta Cheese at the end, together with walnuts to make an extra delicious spring soup.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST NETTLE SOUP AT HOME – tips
NETTLE BENEFITS: Nettle is one ancient green herb, known for its numerous benefits. It contains many important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.
NETTLE-PICKING TIPS: If you decide to go out in the ‘wild’ and pick your own nettle leaves, consider the following:
- Pick the youngest nettle leaves from tips – as they are most fresh and tender once cooked.
- Use gardening gloves to avoid getting stung (amazon link).
- Choose a region away from city traffic – as any other plant, nettle absorbs dust and dirt from the roads.
COOKING TIPS & SUBSTITUTIONS:
- Scallions, fresh (wild) garlic leaves, olive oil and red peppers are key to nettle soup’s good taste. Especially if you can get your hands on wild garlic leaves! However, if you do not have some of these ingredients on hand, substitutions are always possible.
- Scallions (or spring/green onions) -> yellow onion head
- (Wild) garlic leaves -> garlic cloves
- Paprika -> freshly chopped red bell pepper
- Walnuts -> hazelnuts
Nettle leaves are not suitable for raw consumption (e.g. in salads). They have to be sautéed/ blanched first. Once cooked, nettle leaves reduce their size to ¼ of original volume. Therefore, in general I tend to stick to 1:4 ratio to get creamier results – one cup sautéed & chopped nettle leaves to 4 cups water.
MORE EUROPEAN RECIPES:
- Homemade sausage patties (basic recipe)
- Oven Roasted Eggplant Wedges (with olives and tomatoes)
- Easy Braised Beef Recipe (VIDEO)
- Baked Lemon Mustard Steelhead Trout (VIDEO)
- Simple Brown Rice with leeks, tomatoes and olives
Creamy Nettle Soup Recipe (with Feta Cheese)
- 1/2 cup spring onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup garlic leaves, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch (200 g) fresh nettle leaves , picked and washed
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 4 cups of water (broth), or more
- 1 tbsp all purpose seasoning , preferably organic
- 2 tbsp melted butter, optional
- 1 cup feta cheese , crumbled for topping, optional
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped , for topping, optional
- Soak nettle leaves in cold water and let sit for 15 min. That way most of the dirt comes off on its own. Then, wash nettle leaves carefully to avoid getting stung (I use rubber gloves).
- Place leaves in a non stick cooking pan with lid and cover with cold water. Boil for 10 minutes, until leaves start to change color (become darker, softer and shrink down).
- Remove from water and strain well (using a colander – see mine) and press with fork until well strained. Do not use water where nettle was cooked for the soup.
- Place leaves (looking like one wet ball) on wooden cutting board and cut on smaller pieces. The smaller the pieces, the tastier soup will be. Set aside and prepare the soup.
- Chop Scallions, (wild) garlic leaves and saute in a non-stick cooking pan with lid until tender (on medium heat).
- Add paprika & whole wheat flour and sauté for 1-2 min while whisking to prevent mix from burning (see photos above). Add 1/2 cups of water if needed.
- Then add remaining water, butter, chopped & sautéed nettle leaves and stir until all is well combined. It’s recommended to add water slowly and if needed adjust quantity to get creamier soup (e.g. reduce / add liquid if nettle:water ratio seems ‘’off balance’’).
- Bring to a boil on medium heat. Remove from stove top once cooked (around 20 min on my stove).
- Serve warm with feta cheese and chopped walnuts on top (so yummy!).
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