3 extremely useful things you can do with nettles, including nettle soup

Up until very recently stinging nettles in our garden were extremely annoying and a nuisance. That’s all changed as I’ve started to read up on composting and I’ve compiled a list and how-to video on useful things you can do with nettles, including a delicious nettle soup.

All three items covered below are featured in the video at the end of this post.

Nettle soup

I love making soups, so I was intrigued by the prospect of making soup from stinging nettles that we foraged in our own field. Definitely wear gloves when harvesting to prevent being stung.

This is the list of ingredients we used in our nettle soup – you can watch the whole process in the video at the end of this post.

  • Glug of olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 4-5 celery sticks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 1.5-2 litre water
  • 400g stinging nettles
  • 50ml cream
  • Milk (to thin the soup)

This is the first time I’ve ever made this soup and it’s a winner. It’s full of flavour and very nutritious. We are going to have nettle soup regularly.

This soup is packed full of vitamins A, C and B. In addition to this, fresh nettles contain potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium and iron.

I worked it out. If you can forage your own nettles, this soup costs in the region of 90p to make (yes, under £1) and it makes six very generous portions – that’s 15p per serving, for a meal that is extremely healthy and good for you.

Compost enhancer

Adding nettles, which are rich in nitrogen, to a compost heap will aid and activate it. This is something I’ve read about, and it will take months before I see the results.

Nettle tea (fertilizer)

This tea for plants and vegetables doesn’t contain many phosphates, but it will have reasonable amounts of nitrogen, iron and magnesium.

This fertilizer works best on leafy plants and heavy feeders, and is supposed to aid tomatoes.

By some accounts, it can also be used as a parasite repellent. If thinned with water and sprayed on leaves directly, stinging nettle tea can repel insects, aphids and mites.

I am going to mix mine in a ratio of 10:1 with water and use it as a fertilizer.

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