Well... we've decided. Over the next several days, we are moving our stuff out of storage in Vancouver and into the third floor of my parents' house in Seattle. I thought I would celebrate with a recipe. There's plenty to celebrate, since we just had our 5th anniversary last Friday! We went out for a fancy "sunset dinner" at the Crystal Mountain Summit House (see above picture)!
Anyway, on to the previously mentioned recipe. I thought it would be appropriate as a "housewarming" post to write about something we harvested out of our yard...
Yes, you read that right. Let me explain. This is a soup made with stinging nettles. I cannot tell you how many times I was stung by them as a child. It really does the nasty little things justice to turn them into a nutritious soup. BWA HA HA HA HA!!!!!
A couple days ago, Keith and I decided on a whim to make nettle soup. I started by searching the internet for ideas. To my amusement, I discovered that people actually pay good money for nettles at farmer's markets. We, on the other hand, put on heavy gloves and walked down to the end of my parents' driveway to harvest ours.
- Olive oil or butter
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, or more if you like, minced
- A couple sprigs of rosemary and lemon thyme, leaves removed from stems and minced
- A large pot of young nettles, perhaps 3-4 pounds, coarsely chopped
- 12 c vegetable stock
- 3/4 c uncooked basmati rice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Corn starch to thicken (optional)
- Lemon juice
- Balsamic vinegar
- Cooking sake
- Soy sauce
- Shichimi tougarashi (or another hot pepper blend)
Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook them over low heat for at least 15 minutes, or as much as an hour, until they have caramelized. Add the garlic and herbs, and cook for a few more minutes.
Meanwhile, put the nettles and vegetable stock in a large pot, and bring to a boil. (I didn't chop the nettles, but you may want to do so, since otherwise you get lots of fibrous clumps which get stuck in the blender. Just make sure you wear heavy gloves!)
When the nettles cook down so there is room in the pot, add the onion mixture and rice. Cook for about 15 minutes until the rice is tender.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup.
If the soup is not as thick as you want it, make a slurry of cornstarch and water, and add it to the soup. Season to taste with some or all of the suggestions I listed above. Serve plain or top with yogurt, pan-fried tofu chunks, or halloumi cheese.