By Selah Koile, Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
Tender nettles offer a teasing taste of the promised spring to come, and hearty root vegetables warm to the core in this savoury taste of home.
- 4 parsnips (approx. 2.5 cups, cubed)
- 6 medium-large potatoes (approx. 8 cups, cubed)
- 2 medium onions (approx. 2.5 cups, sliced in half-moon shapes)
- 8 cups nettle leaves (cleaned with stalks removed)
- 3 cups of liquid (water or chicken broth to taste)
- 3 Tbsp butter or oil
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or ½ cup white wine)
- Handful of arugula leaves for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 400°.
Wash and chop parsnips and potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with enough oil to coat evenly. Roast in a roasting pan for about 20-30 minute, or until tender. While the vegetables are cooking, thinly slice the onions. In a soup pot melt the butter on low heat, add onions, salt and spices, and let simmer until the onions are soft and translucent.
While the onions cook, carefully (with rubber gloves if necessary) wash and drain the nettles. Steam them in a pan or pot until they are well cooked. They should still be a bright green color but very soft and easy to chew. When the onions are ready, add the apple cider vinegar or white wine. Continue to gently simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Combine the nettles with the onions and purée using a hand blender or food processor, adding a small amount of water or broth if necessary.
Finally, when the potatoes and parsnips have cooked, purée half of them with some water or broth until they reach a creamy consistency. Combine everything in a pot, adding enough liquid to bring the soup to the desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with arugula just before serving.
Nutritional value (per serving): Calories 649; Fat 22 g; Carbohydrates 81 g; Protein 41 g