Stinging Nettle Soup
Source: Kristin Kimball, author of The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love (Scribner, 2010)
It was prepared for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 26, 2011
This soup plus a loaf of fresh bread and butter makes a healthy and satisfying lunch in 20 minutes or less. You could use potatoes to thicken it, but the rice is less assertive and allows the nettle flavor to sing. Good homemade chicken stock makes all the difference.
1 small bunch green onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup rice
4 cups high-quality chicken stock
1 pound young stinging nettles
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crème fraîche, for garnish
1. Slice off the dark green part of the green onions (reserve for another use, like making stock) and chop the white and light green part for the soup. Peel and chop the shallot. Heat the butter in a large heavy bottom sauce pan; add the green onions and shallot and sauté until soft.
2. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the chicken stock and simmer gently until the rice is soft.
3. Meanwhile, using rubber gloves, roughly chop the stinging nettles (they will lose their sting once they hit the heat). Add the nettles to the pot and cook until they are limp and tender. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, topped a dollop of crème fraîche.