Nettle soup with buttermilk, Meyer lemon crème fraîche and Sichuan peppers

May 11, 2013

Nettle soup with buttermilk-Meyer lemon crème fraîche and Sichuan peppers

I’ve always been a fan of leafy green vegetables—even prickly ones like stinging nettle. In fact, when you look at this plant, you can hardly believe that you can eat it…or even digest it. But with a little heat, the nasty needles that cover the stems and leaves soften and become harmless.

Cooked nettle has a deliciously green and slightly mineral flavor—reminiscent of watercress, but without the peppery element. Aside from its delicate, unique flavor, nettle is incredibly nutritious and has also been used in medicinal remedies for centuries. But I’ll confess that the beneficial factors in any plant, herb or vegetable are never quite enough to entice me to cook with it. What really enchants me is the kaleidoscope of flavors plants offer us. And nettle is a gem that’s so worth exploring.

Here buttermilk is added to the soup to soften the nettle’s greenness. The Meyer-lemon-spiked crème fraîche pairs magnificently with the mineral tones of the nettle and the Sichuan peppers add a marvelous exotic flavor.

All in all, this soup is worth facing the sting of those nettles!

Stinging nettle

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Nettle soup with buttermilk-Meyer lemon crème fraîche and Sichuan peppers

Here’s another delicious spring soup: Sweet pea soup with cumin-mint coulis

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

lisaiscooking May 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I’ve never cooked with nettles! I wish I could get them here. I’d love to try this soup.

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Viviane May 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hi Lisa! I think nettle grows just about everywhere in the US and Canada, and it is harvested in the cool season. Ask your local farmers for it… they might have a patch on their farm (it is considered a pesky weed!). Most farmers have some, but rarely bother cutting and selling nettle. I hope you find some soon!

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Marina's Kitchen May 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Hi! I wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for the Bouquet of Three Awards at http://marinaskitchen.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/bouquet-of-three-awards !!!

Marina

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Viviane May 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

Thank you so much Marina! I’m very sorry that I cannot return the favor since my site is set up to publish only recipes… But good luck to you my dear!

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Deb May 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

This is my first season of cooking with nettles and I was happy to find we liked the herbaceous taste. A creamy bowl of soup topped with a touch of pepper is inspired, lovely recipe!

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Viviane May 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

Thank you Deb! I’ve been having great fun creating new recipes with the delicious stingy plants… Enjoy your endeavors too!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com May 16, 2013 at 12:39 am

I’ve never cooked or tasted nettles before. This soup already look and sounds delish!

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