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Into liquidiser to soup it, then return to pan to warm. To serve, pour soup into a bowl and add some cream. Whisk cream around with back of a spoon to make an interesting shape. Salt and pepper to taste. Roger Phillips suggests serving this soup with butter-made croutons, but I prefer it without - only because I'm off bread.
Right now if you've done all that - you have just spontaneously self-medicated with wild food !
Nettles are a powerhouse of stuff we need after winter. They contain: Iron and vitamin C. There are other minerals such as calcium, potassium and silicic acid in addition to flavonoids and phenols. German studies in 1999 show nettles to have a strong anti-inflammatory action. The leaves are rich in histamine - which can help with allergies. Also they contain serotonin - another very valuable compound for positive being. For this reason nettle is a useful tonic.
Nettle leaves are an astringent, a diuretic and a tonic, thanks in part to their high vitamin C and iron content. As an astringent they are used to decrease unwanted prostrate growth. As a tonic in beer, tea or soup they strengthen whole body. The high salicic acid content in plant can also help with eczema and dried leaves make an easy poultice for some joint pains. Flogging affected part with nettles was once called 'urtification' and was used for rheumatic joints. A remedy with its own hypodermic needles built-in !
The name 'nettle' comes from an old Scandinavian word 'Noedle' - meaning 'needle' in reference to stinging parts - which underrates this useful plant. Nettles were once cultivated in Scandinavia and they were grown under glass in Scotland as 'early kale'.
Even fibrous stems of nettles were used to weave a rough cloth. The young tops make most delicious soup, nettle tea is good internally for rheumatic pains and externally as a balm against sunburn or as a cleansing hair rinse. A green dye can be made from leaves and seeds of this plant were once considered to have aphrodisiac qualities. Useful - or what !
A famous Irish dish called 'Brotchan Neanntog' contains nettles, but they become too tough after June for serious eating. 'Food for Free', a book by Richard Mabey even has a recipe for Nettle Haggis.
Gerard claims Nettles as a remedy against hemlock, bad mushrooms, quicksilver and Henbane, also against bites of serpents and scorpions. An oil made from leaves will take away sting that "itself maketh".
Get spring inside you - go make Nettle Soup.
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