This is a most satisfying soup to make in these days when even potatoes are expensive because the main ingredient is completely free – young nettles are best but I have made the soup at the end of the summer with some rather tired nettles from my overgrown garden, and it still tasted good. Of course you must wear gloves to pick and prepare the nettles.
Pull the leaves off the nettle stems. If you do not have a blender chop up the leaves as small as possible. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Take off heat. Put in the leaves and coat with butter. Stir in the flour. Pour in heated stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, stirring often. Simmer for 10–15 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. If you have a blender put the soup in when it has cooled a bit, and blend. Stir in lemon juice and re-heat before serving. If liked add a drop of sour cream to each bowl of soup when serving out.
© 1976 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.