Scandinavian Nettle Soup

Nettles are rich in vitamins A, C, D, and K, calcium, magnesium, flavonoids, serotonin, and histamines.

INGREDIENTS:

10 cups washed nettle leaves
Water to cover
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 cups chicken or beef stock, homemade preferable
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups light cream or half-and-half
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped or cut into slices, for garnish

METHOD:

Wash a plastic bag-full of fresh stinging nettle leaves, about 10-12 cups.

Using a slotted spoon, carefully place washed nettle leaves in large saucepan without touching them. Add water to cover, and bring to a low simmer. Blanch leaves for 10-15 minutes, until tender (Note: they’ll be safe to touch once blanched.)

Place blanched nettles with one cup cooking water into food processor and chop finely (don’t puree them). Discard the remaining cooking water.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter and then stir in flour to make a light roux. Lower heat to medium, add chopped red onion, garlic, and chives, and sauté until onion is translucent.

Whisk in stock, salt, white pepper, thyme, and nutmeg, stirring until roux is well-incorporated. Stir in processed nettle mixture, then gradually whisk in light cream or half-and-half. Heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Pour into soup bowls, garnish with chopped or sliced hard-boiled eggs, and serve.

YIELD: 4-6 servings.

SOURCE: Recipe from Scandinavian Food at about.com 

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