The beginning of spring means one thing to me – the chance to start foraging again after the winter. Right now stinging nettles are looking bright and youthful, the ideal time to collect a few* and add them to your meals. This soup takes advantage of their unique taste, while the roasted aubergine rounds it out with a smoky deliciousness.
4 garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp olive oil
A large handful of nettles, washed
1 litre of stock
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Slash the aubergine three times, place in a roasting tin with the garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until soft when pierced with a sharp knife, approximately 30 minutes. Remove and transfer to a large pan. Add the nettles and stock and allow to simmer until the nettles have wilted, add more stock if desired. Blend until very smooth. Season to taste.
*please take care when picking nettles. Rubber gloves are advised. My husband swears that ‘pinching firmly’ also avoids any stings, although I can’t vouch for this. Pick nettles growing away from roads or areas that dogs regularly access.