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Nettle soup is presumably very ancient, but is known by name only since the early 19th century. Like lots of everyday lower-class dishes, receipts showing how to make it are almost unknown. It is worth trying, the taste is decidely green, but with a hint of woodland.
Original Receipt from ''The Household Encyclopedia' 1859
NETTLE SOUP or Kail: Have water on the fire with a little clarified dripping, butter, the stock of roast beef, bones, or any other stock, cut up young nettles, put them into it and mix one or two handsful of oatmeal perfectly into it. Let it simmer on the side of the fire
The Wells Journal - Thursday 12 November 1908 - tells us that; "A REMEDY FOR ANAEMIA Dr. Mjalman Agner calls attention to a remedy for anaemia which is exceedingly popular in Sweden-i.e., nettle. He himself was cured of anaemia when he was seventeen by taking nettle soup. One his patients, a girl of 20, had tried all remedies recommended in anaemia, including the preparations of irdh, but without apparent benefit. He ordered her then nettle soup, first every second day; then, when she improved, twice a week. The patient was completely cured. The common or stinging nettle (urtica dioica) and the dwarf nettle (urtica urens) possess the same virtues, but the first is used almost exclusively. The best time for collection is the spring; the best parts to use are the roots and stalks with only half-developed leaves. It may be used as an infusion-a handful to two quarts of water, two or three glasses thereof, to be taken during the day, but it is much pleasanter to use in the form of a freshly prepared soup from the fresh herb."
For other receipts, see nettles...
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