The leaves of the stinging nettle plant are rich in body building minerals and rejuvenative nutrients. If you spend time in ravines and parks you are very likely walking by them all the time. They are perfect for picking in the spring but if you can’t find them, you could use some nettle tea bags instead, steeping them in water or vegetable broth.

Check out //www.medicalmedium.com/blog/nettle-leaf to see what Anthony William has to say about nettle leaf.

HINT: There is a big patch of stinging nettle to the left of the waterfowl pen on the north side of the Mill pond in Richmond Hill.

NOTE: When picking stinging nettle use rubber gloves and scissors to avoid being ‘stung’. The stingers are inactivated when cooked.

I’m not giving specific amounts for this recipe and feel confident that you will find your way to a delicious and nourishing soup.

  1. Use about 8 cups of loosely packed fresh nettle leaves. If you are picking them in the wild (or from your backyard as I am), let them sit in a colander outside to give insects like ants that might be crawling amid the budding leaves the opportunity to escape. When picking stinging nettle use rubber gloves and scissors to avoid being ‘stung’.
  2. Put the nettles in a medium soup pot and cover with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 45 minutes. With about 10 minutes to go, add 1 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, and 2 bay leaves. (Or use 4 nettle tea bags in vegetable broth or water and simmer for 10 minutes – let sit with heat off for at least 30 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, slice 6 onions (Vidalia are nice) and put in a separate pot with 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon maple syrup and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Saute on medium low for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so and adding water if the onions begin to stick. You could also add a couple of minced garlic cloves to the onions. In the last 10 minutes, turn the heat to high and stir very often so that the water evaporates and the onions caramalize.
  4. Strain the nettle broth, and pour over the onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve in a bowl over steamed mini potatoes, and stir in a teaspoon of tahini if desired. Garnish with chives, or sliced green onions.

Love, Caroline

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