Stinging Nettle Soup: A Tale of Revenge
Just outside the vegetable garden fence at the house in Greece there was a patch of
Ever since spying nettle recipes in Italian cookbooks, I've been intrigued by the idea of eating poison ivy. Thing is, unless you walk through the wrong place in the wilderness, it's not that easy to find. Imagine picking up something like that in a grocery store! So aside from being irrationally angry at the poison ivy for itching me, I knew a rare culinary opportunity when I saw one, so I donned the thickest pair of garden gloves I could find, grabbed some pruning shears and whacked that poison ivy patch to the ground.
When I brought the bounty in to the kitchen, my father-in-law got a really bright look on his face. He had a really easy old family soup recipe called "Soupe des ortilles".
Here's the recipe:
1 big bunch of nettles (don't ask me how much, but enough to fill a large plastic collander)
water to cover
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large baking potato
small dollop of cream or butter
salt and pepper
This recipe is in the potage parmentier family, which means a few vegetables boiled in water until soft, with minimal seasoning added, which as if by magic, tastes really, really good. A soup much more than the sum of its parts. Music to sip soupe aux ortilles (nettle soup) by: Jennifer Nettles singing "Who says You Can't Go Home" with Jon Bon Giovi.