PICK STINGING NETTLES FOR SOUP
If you haven’t tried stinging nettle soup, you must – just don’t taste test the leaves before you cook them or you’ll end up with a botoxy smile that will amuse your friends but you won’t enjoy one bit. Stinging nettle loses its sting as soon as it meets boiling water, so cook your soup before sampling. Include other vegetables in the mix and your soup will taste familiar but will have the extra nutrients that nettle brings, in part because of its wild, undomesticated state. If you don’t have any, nettles are commonly found growing in dry, hot, nitrogen-rich places, such as beside woolsheds or under the skirts of a hedge where animals may have camped. My nettles grow in a bathtub, to keep them contained, but there are also some growing in the wilds of my wider forest garden.Occasionally I stumble across them. The pain is fleeting, if four hours can be considered fleeting!
Before you harvest nettles, check the plant carefully as it may be hosting caterpillars or cocoons of our native admiral butterflies. It’s well worth leaving those alone