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Author Notes: I found wild nettles at the farmers market. The farmer told me that he foraged them himself! Nettles grow as the cool weather gives way to the spring. Nettle has a spinach like, nutty flavor. The leaves are covered with tiny hairs and they unleash a nasty sting, so wear gloves while handling raw nettle. Although nettle is poisonous and can not be eaten raw, boiling makes it edible. The leaves and stems of nettle have been used historically to treat arthritis and sore muscles. Nettle also supports the kidneys, is good for asthma sufferers, and drinking nettle tea can cure the common cold. —Medha | Farm on Plate
- 1 pound stinging nettle leaves
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 2 leeks - chopped
- 1 carrot - chopped
- 1 blub fennel - chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower florets - chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock / broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil/coconut oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add nettle and mint leaves and blanch for 2 minutes. (make sure to wear gloves while dealing with raw nettles)
- Drain and transfer to blender. Make a smooth purée by adding 1/4 cup of cold water. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a big pot. Add chopped leeks, carrot, fennel and garlic. Sweat the vegetables very slowly on low heat until soft, about 15–20 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of vegetable stock and cauliflower florets, bring to boil. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, purée in blender. Mix with nettle puree. Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange desired garnish in a bowl and pour warm soup gently. I have used roasted and raw cauliflower florets with sliced almonds and raisins.