The green soup


There is a lot of free food around this time of the year, and some of the weeds are among the best. And healthiest. Nettle soup is one of my favorites, with or without other species of weeds. The nettles just started to grow where I live, that means they are absolutely best for food now. I use gloves of course when I pick them, it is for a reason they are given the name stinging nettles, and i just pick the top of the plants.


There are many recipes around. My advice is to keep it simple, and the recipe I use is about like this:

200 g nettles already cleaned and blanched

1 small onion

1 spoon of butter

1 spoon of flour

1 liter broth

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

salt if necessary

1 dl cream

I rinse the nettles in cold water before I blanche them, that is, I just put them in boiling water for a minute or two. This water I throw away. Chop the nettles, and the onion, and fry this lightly for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir. Gradually add hot broth, and then boil the soup gently for 5 minutes. Add pepper, and salt if necessary, and then the cream. At the end I use a hand stick mixer for the perfect smoothness, but this is not necessary. And I often serve with slices of boiled egg.


The nettles in the picture above are too old to be used for my taste. The spring nettles are the best, but one trick is to cut the old ones, and get some fresh ones growing. The benefits of nettles are well known, and they have a lot of vitamins, antioxydants and medicinal qualities. But on top of that, the taste is really excellent, believe it or not. Other plants I often use is wild ground elder, and chives from the garden.

One very important advice: never pick any plant for eating if you are not 100 percent sure of what species they are. If you are uncertain, leave them, or bring them to somebody who knows. Because there are also plants that are lethal. Also just pick plants you know are clean and not contaminated. Here is a link to some more photos of edible plants.


45 thoughts on “The green soup

    1. I you ever find nettles, hahah, here they are everywhere, I mean absolutely everywhere. And I hope you find some, because they taste so good. Didn’t try this soup cold, but I think it will work. If we get som hot days (Norwegian hot) I might try. Maybe nice to add some extra pepper then. Thanks, Emilie.


  1. Très belle soupe …personnellement je n’aime pas beaucoup les orties , je préfère une autre soupe ” verte ” celle au cerfeuil (kjørvel ) 😉 Bon week-end et merci pour ces belles images !


    1. J’ai du mal à comprendre que quelqu’un n’aime pas la soupe d’ortie, le goût est si doux, alors peut-être que je dois faire pour vous. Mais bien sûr, les gens ont des goûts différents, et personnellement, je ne suis pas très friand de cerfeuil. Mais n’ont pas mangé beaucoup. Merci, Pierrettej.


  2. My son (10) recently had a field trip, where at the end they baked their own bread on a fire and made nettle soup. When he told me about it I thought I had to try that at home too, but forgot about it afterwards. Thank you for reminding me… and giving a recipe with gorgeous and mouth watering pictures. Nettles enough in our garden… so if approved, there’ll be some more nettle soup on the menu next weeks 🙂


  3. I love this soup. You can also make Nettle salad. Very healthy and tastful. Wonderful pictures Bente!


  4. I’d never heard of nettle soup before. Your advice in the last paragraph is important though, particularly for mushrooms – a couple of people here died recently from eating mushrooms they found.


  5. Lovely. But, you have made my bad consciense show its little ugly head again…No nettle soup made this year…Luckily I can look at your photos and savour it still…


  6. Nice images, Bente.
    I make my spinach soup the same way (but leave out the cream). I like the rich dark green colour and it’s health-giving properties. I’ve never tried nettle soup but I was tempted when we had a large patch in the side of the cobbled lane behind where I live. No doubt, it wouldn’t have been as good as yours (in which plants are growing in fresh, unpolluted country air).
    I have blanched Chickweed to eat though. I must admit I’ve forgotten what most of the safe weeds look like (over the years of living in the inner city.)


  7. When I was a teenager, I used to make nettle tea with my sister and my cousins. Pick the young nettles as the old ones taste bitter.

    I have a small Collins Gem book called ‘Food for Free’ by Richard Mabey. He has some wonderful recipes in it.


  8. A great post – a little photo essay about the whole process of making the green soup. I have had – and made – nettle soup long time ago, and I thought it tasted very delicious. Very nice photos, Bente.


  9. It’s a brilliant idea and I have plenty of nettles in a corner of my garden but, as you say, if you’re not 100% sure, which I’m not. 🙂 Don’t do it. I have lots of other fruit and veg that I am sure of LOL!
    Love this post!


    1. That is good, don’t take any chances with wild plants, but maybe you can ask somebody who knows some day? In the meantime, enjoy the lots of known fruit and veg. Thanks a lot for your comment, Britishberliner.


  10. Bente, the tabletop setting is so fresh and truly artistic, i can’t stop looking at the soup, wonder what Nettles are called in India so I can try making it 😀


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