Nettle Soup

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

  • About

Early spring is a good time to go out with a basket, a pair of gloves and a pair of scissors to gather nettle tops (Urtica dioica). Still tender, their sting is at a minimum. At home, put them in a colander and pass under the cold tap.


Put some beef dripping in a pan on a low heat. Chop up 2 or 3 potatoes and an onion, simmer them in the dripping, then pour on water to cover and add a teaspoon of tomato purée, salt, pepper and a little milk. Raise the heat. Chop up the nettles with your gloves on. Crush the potatoes against the side of the pan, then throw in the nettles and cook for a few minutes.

The nettle is ortica in Italian and ortiga in Catalan. In Puglia they sometimes find their way into a dish of pasta: Pasta colle ortiche.