Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nettle Soup Allergy Relief

I'm not usually prone to allergies, but I hear they can hit you at any time, and apparently yesterday was the day.

I've been buying stinging nettles from Foraged and Found Edibles at the Ballard and U District markets: they're an early glimpse of spring and while I wouldn't quite say I like the way the taste, my body feels like it needs them. Typically I make nettle pesto by steaming the greens until they're soft and the heat neutralizes their sting, and then I whiz them in the food processor with some goat cheese. That's it. I spread the pesto on crackers or toss it with pasta. Then I add honey to the steaming liquid and enjoy some nettle tea.

When the allergies struck yesterday I wanted something more heavy duty, something that would allow me to eat the entire half-pound bag in a single sitting and set my system back on track. I decided to make a soup, but the larder was mostly bare and the only ingredient that seemed suitable for a nettle soup was a half cup of miso.

I steamed the greens in a big pot, in about a quart of water, and then I removed the nettles, pureed them until they were silky, and whisked the miso into the steaming liquid remaining in the pot. Then I mixed the pureed nettles back into the miso broth. That's it. Two ingredients.

The soup was tasty and rich, and I ate it all. I found myself trying to think of other ingredients that would have enhanced this flavor, but it just didn't need anything else.

I'm also happy to report that this morning I woke up feeling considerably better.

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