Picking them ( the nettles, not the people) doesn't differ greatly from picking blackberries. You come out with injuries but it's a small price to pay. I harvested these nettles from a large open field up the mountain from where I live. A whole field full of free vegetables! Yippee!
|add fresh leaves to boiling water for spring tonic tea|
New Nettle Soup
2L chicken stock (or veg stock)
1c wild rice (or small diced potatoes)
1/2 c dried pine mushrooms
(shitake mushrooms would also be great)
1/3c pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1 giant baggie of fresh picked nettles
1 red chili
3 sage leaves
1 whole apple
|it's a swampy but yummy spring soup|
Soak dried mushrooms in enough water to cover them. When the mushrooms are soft, chop, return to the water, add partially steamed wild rice, simmer until rice and mushrooms are soft. In a shallow pan, toast pine nuts, put to the side. Add butter to warm pan, add garlic, nettles, toss just a tad. Then combine all ingredients in a pot, cover with stock, simmer after adding sage, apple, and chili for a good 30 minutes - then serve. This soup does well if you can just leave it in a cool spot overnight for the flavours to meld. Another nice thickener is a little cream, or a little pureed basmati rice, or even a bit of pureed cooked barley.