This recipe is a bright green soup full of goodness. When making any green soups, purées or oils it is essential that the green element is cooked for the minimum possible time which helps to retain the chlorophyll pigment.
Have everything ready to go, weighed out and organised before you start so as soon as you add the nettles you can blend the soup straight away. Another way to help lock in the vibrant green hues is to cool the soup over ice after blending and put it in the fridge ASAP. That way you will retain the colour and you can just heat up the amount required as and when you need.
Splash of grape seed oil
1 brown onion (peeled and diced)
2 cubes unsalted butter
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
350g baby garden peas
200ml dry white wine
1ltr chicken or veg stock
350g stinging nettles, picked and washed
200g fresh baby spinach leaves
Salt, pepper + lemon juice to taste
Heat a heavy based pot to a medium temperature. Add a splash of oil, the diced onions and a little salt. Sweat the onions slowly being careful not to get any colour on them. When they are nearly soft add in the diced butter and cook for a further 3 minutes or until all the sweet juices and aromas are released. Add in the white wine and reduce down to a third.
Add the potatoes, cover with 800ml of the stock and bring to a simmer. Cookout until potatoes become soft and tender. Add the peas and bring up to a rapid boil as quickly as possible. Once boiling add the nettles, stir until just wilted then take off the heat.
Immediately start blending your soup as quickly as possible in small batches and with every batch add a handful of fresh spinach leaves into the blender. After each batch is blended put it in a bowl over ice to cool it down as quickly as possible. Once all the soup is blended, I suggest a first taste for consistency... you may need to strain the soup depending on the variety of nettles used- some are more hairy than others and also you may want to thin the soup out with a little extra stock or water. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed.
I garnished with a poached egg, bacon bits and chive flowers but a nice alternative would be a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives and drizzle of good olive oil.
Dallyn and Kerr is a Sydney-based bespoke catering company with a love for sustainable produce run by chefs Gemma Dallyn and Sera Kerr. You can find them on Instagram @dallynandkerr