This is vibrant green, but subtly flavoured — a bit like spinach soup,
but without the tooth-furring sensation. You’ll need a lot of nettle
leaves: at least one carrier-bag full, maybe two. Take only the top sprout and the next couple of leaves, avoiding older nettles and all but the very top of the stalk. Wear gloves for picking and handling.
300g young stinging-nettle leaves (weigh them once they’re destalked)
2 leeks, white part only, finely sliced
½ medium onion, finely sliced
Salt and pepper
400ml whole milk
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 medium potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
Double cream, to serve
Nutmeg, to serve
Bring a big pan of water to the boil and throw in the nettles (wear
gloves to avoid stings). Return to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under the cold tap until cool. Keep to one side.
Put the leek and onion in a saucepan with the butter. Add a pinch of
salt, then cover with a lid and sweat gently for about 10 minutes
until soft. Give things the odd stir to stop them browning. Remove the
lid, then add the milk, stock and potatoes and cook for another 10
minutes, or until the potato is disintegrating.
Add the drained nettles, stir together, then tip into a blender and liquidise. Season, glug in a splash of double cream and add a grating of nutmeg.