Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

It's Cornish Nettle Soup Time!

It is spring, the time for going nettling!


I wait and wait for this moment in spring. Last week I passed a huge patch of stinging nettles (urtica dioica), looking all lovely and ready to pick. It's hard to explain, but when they're really ready their presence changes, they become more vibrant looking and start to wink at me.



Now I can call my neighbour, don strong gardening gloves and we can go nettle picking. Blackberry picking is so... autumn, this is spring, the time for nettles! All the nutritional benefits of nettling I discuss on my spring foraging courses and I have so much more to share on nettles, including recipes and when not to pick them. You can browse this information here on my Stinging nettles blog.


Just like blackberrying, picking nettles would have been a seasonal affair, gathering nutritious greens that even children would have devoured. Many people have heard of nettle soup, but  have you actually tried it? It doesn't taste of spinach, it tastes of nettles which is even better. Go find your gardening gloves...


When I was researching for my first book; Wild Food Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly I came across an old recipe Cornish recipe for Nettle soup. It included sausages and was boiled for an hour. An hour! No, not I, in these modern times I thought I could make a much tastier, fresher one, and I did. The recipe is in my foraging book.

Happy nettling!


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