Stinging nettle soup

Name, Surname
Gema Marija Bagdanaviciene; 68, Lithuania

Personal story
This soup reminds me of my childhood in 1950s. After my father’s death I was my mother’s right-hand and the family cook as I was the eldest child. The hardest job was to collect stinging nettles for this soup. Once my aunt visited us. She was back after the exile in Siberia, where they also ate nettle soup to improve health and alleviate hunger. Back in Lithuania expats were forbidden to come back to their native homes, so my aunt lived in Klaipėda. However, she missed Suvalkija (Sudovia) so much and was a frequent guest in our home. My aunt went into the fields, picked a bunch of stinging nettles with bare hands and started flogging herself. I could not believe my eyes as it was a torture for me to collect stinging nettles for the soup. However my aunt whipped herself with nettles for health.

Difficulty Level
Difficulty Level II

Time
How much does it take to prepare it? 15 min.
How much does it take to cook it? 15 min.

Cooking utensils What are the necessary tools for cooking the dish?
1. Saucepan
2. Pot
3. Knife
4. Cutting board
5. Grater

People For how many people?
4 - 6 persons.

Ingredients List of ingredients with quantity.
A hand bunch of nettles
1 litre of water
3 big potatoes
2 big carrots
50 grams (4 tablespoons) of butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 spoon of sour cream per serving to garnish

Steps
1. Place the nettles in a bowl or a pot and blanche them with boiling water, then drain, allow to cool and remove leaves from the stems.
2. Boil 1 litre of water in a pot.
3. Peel the potatoes and cube them small.
4. Add chopped potatoes into boiling water.
5. Grate the carrots.
6. Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the carrots until they become lightly golden.
7. Add carrots to boiling potatoes.
8. Chop nettle leaves.
9. Add chopped nettle leaves to boiling potatoes and carrots when they get almost soft.
10. Season with salt and pepper.
11. Boil everything for 5 more minutes.
12. Serve with sour cream as garnish.

Tips
Practical tips and secrets: Any secret to make it taste better?
The soup can be liquidized to a creamy puree.
Nettles can be replaced by 1/3 of sorrel for a more sour taste or young beet root leaves.

Healthy tips: Which health diseases can this dish help to combat?
Good for treating anaemia as nettles are rich in iron.

Seasonal tips: Which season is the best time for having the dish? Why?
The best season is spring when the nettles are young and tender. They will taste as spinach and can be used with stalks. This soup is a good tonic to replenish body minerals after winter.

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