Stinging Nettle Soup

Fresh Nettles from Blue Moon Farm in Waldron Island

The first person who cooked nettles must have been starving or intended to poison someone.  Nettles feel poisonous.  I can imagine a disgruntled cook plotting someone’s murder by soup, assuming the plant to be poisonous but surprised when it failed to kill.  I am typing with stinging fingertips.  Yes, I should have worn gloves, but I really couldn’t have guessed the pain would linger for hours.  Stinging nettles actually sting.  Live and learn.

I bought fresh, locally harvested nettles from the San Juan Island Food Coop in Friday Harbor.  Seattle has been infatuated with nettles for years and I have been slow to jump on the bandwagon.  I found a simple potage online because my own cookbook collection yielded no nettle recipes.  I modified a basic recipe from

Putting the soup through a sieve isn’t really an option to me.  The nettles, even after processing, are very fibrous. Straining the soup is the only way to go in my opinion.  I dotted the finished soup with fresh chevre from Quail Croft Farmstead Cheese.

Stinging Nettle Soup

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1/2- 1 lb. stinging nettles, stems removed
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with fresh goat chevre or sour cream
  1. in a large stockpot combine stock, potatoes, onions and garlic and bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are completely cooked.  Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook 15 minutes.
  2. Add nettles and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processer in batches. For less fibrous texture, run mixture through a food mill or sieve.
  4. Stir in cream. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and garnish with fresh chevre or sour cream

Stinging Nettle Soup


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