Stinging nettle soup on a rocket stove
Stinging nettles are delicious, nutritious and ubiquitous. They quickly lose their sting when cooked, so don’t worry about your mouth tingling after eating this delicious feast. They are best picked with gardening / rubber gloves. In spring they’re lovely and tender – particularly when you choose only the tips. It’s the lower, older stems that tend to be tough. Pick through them to avoid most bugs, and if you’re unsure about what animals share their habitat, then rinse them first.
This week I’ve been testing our new ‘Wannigans’ – mess boxes for carrying stoves & basic cooking gear in to the beach or camping. They’re very much intended to be cooked in, and this requires a little heat-shielding. I needed to do some longer cooking tests to see how the heat-shielding was working, so knocked up seasonal nettle soup foraged from here in Dorset, on the G3300 Rocket Stove.
Nettle soup recipe
The basic ingredients for nettle soup are:
- a saucepan full of young nettles – tops are best
- Large potato and carrot chopped
- Butter / Oil
- Stock, salt & pepper
- Creme fraiche
As with all soup recipes, the quantities are not critical.
- Fry up the onions with oil in a skillet until brown, on a medium-high heat.
- Add potatoes and carrot and fry more gently for about 10 minutes.
- When the veg is lightly cooked add the nettles for a few minutes until wilted.
- Transfer to a pan and add stock and water. I rinsed out the skillet and added this, partly to help with washing up, and to get all the flavour out.
- Bring to the boil, pop the lid on and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with a dollop of crime fraiche or yoghurt.
If your fellow diners demand, then blend the soup. Personally I like the lumps and distinct textures and flavours, but younger folk seem to appreciate a homogenous paste!
I added a flourish of uncooked nettle, which adds a burst of delicious fresh spring flavour. And no stings!
Thanks for the basic outline recipe from River Cottage!
How did the heat-shielding on the Wild Wannigans work?
Very well. I experimented during the cooking with aluminium foil over the wood near the top of the rocket stove, where occasionally errant flames lick out. There was no trace of any scorching. We won’t be using foil in the final box, but it was a test of the principle.
The boxes need even less shielding than you might think, as rocket stoves are particularly good at direction heat upwards rather than outwards.