Chef Christian Puglisi, who is in charge of a few food temples in Copenhagen, offering some of the most delicious foods (Relae, Manfreds, Baest and Mirabelle) is sharing with us his new favourite for cooking at home – a nettle soup. He suggests: “Pick the nettles with gloves, and preferably with your kids! All children know the burning feeling of accidentally touching the stinging nettles and introducing them to being able to eat them instead, is a sort of sweet vengeance that can be a lot of fun. Picking young nettles is easier and they are more tender for every sort of preparation, but for soup, the more stringy ones will work too.”
For 4 people
300-400 g of stinging nettle
250 g potatoes
2 garlic cloves
400-500 g of pork bones
100 ml of white wine
1 teaspoon of chipotle chilli
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
First of all, you need to cook a stock of the pork bones for 2-3 hours minimum. If you don’t have bones or access to stock, you can go without it. I do believe that it gives a certain body that makes the difference, another kind of stock could work as well. Last time I did this soup I had some leftover cooking-liquid from lentils, I used that and some roe-deer bones I had in the freezer to make the stock simmering for a few hours.
Soak the nettles in water and rinse them properly. Blanch them in plenty of boiling and salty water until quite tender. This will take a minute or more. Cool down in iced water.
Chop and sautè onions, garlic and potatoes in a large pot without it taking any colour. I like to do it in pork fat if I have some rendered, but butter or cooking oil works too.
Add wine and reduce it into almost nothing, add the stock/liquid – about 1,5-2 l of stock should be enough. Cook everything until soft.
Blend everything in a blender, add the blanched nettles, blend thoroughly and season with salt.
Pour back into the pot, warm the soup and check the seasoning again.
Add the lemon juice for acidity, pour into a plate and sprinkle the chilli and olive oil last.
Serve with grilled bread if you have any!