Monday, 27 April 2015

Harvest Monday - more greens and nettle soup

Brr it's turned a bit chilly here overnight, we've even had a few frosts this week. I earthed up my early potatoes yesterday, so they didn't get frost-burn. I hope also that all the strawberry flowers that have come out this week have survived. There's lots of flowers out on the other fruit bushes and my dwarf Apple trees too. Eep

I've started hardening off my squash and sweet corn plants. Luckily because my toms will stay in the lean-to they don't need hardening off.

So I thought I'd have another go at nettle soup, having made it for the first time ever last week. I used some mashed potatoes, carrot and leek from the freezer as the base like last week too.

Defrosting the mash concoction
I collected the nettles fromthe allotment and added them to the pan of potatoes, plus some vegetable stock, onion and garlic. Gloves are essential for handling these leaves!
As with a lot of greens, the leaves really reduce down once cooked
Because the potato was already cooked it only takes a few minutes for the nettle leaves to soften up. Then I whizzed it with a blender stick.
With some goats yogurt, mmm.

So in terms of texture, the nettles remind me a bit of mint leaves. Flavour wise, Jan described it as 'fresh'. I think you could use them with other veggies too and actually thought quinoa might be nice to add, or red lentils to thicken it up a bit.

Other harvests have been:

More kale shoots and purple sprouting broccoli. I thought I'd had the last of the PSB but spotted another plant growing right up against one that had hidden it until I went round the other side of the bed

We had these all with a wholemeal chickpea pie each on Friday night (alas, I did not make the pies!)

We've had a few leaves of corn salad and rocket. The corn salad is from a tub in the lean to, and rocket over-wintered in the back garden.

I've got quite a bit of overwintered chard

This lot went into a cauliflower and butter bean curry again one night

And kidney bean pasta sauce tonight, with plenty of left over overs for lunch the next day from each meal too

I might make nettle soup once more, whilst the leaves are young :)

In naturey news this week I found a huge toad under a pile of recently cut grass (it had moved when I went to take a pic the next day) and I saw a robin feeding it's mate with little grubs collected from where I'd just been working. They must have amazing eyesight to spot these things!

Here's some blueberry flowers to finish off. Hope the frost didn't get them!

Linking in with Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions



  1. I've been discovering overwintered chard in my garden too. I love nettle soup, hope to forage for some this weekend, or maybe wild garlic if i am lucky.

    1. Ooh lovely Shaheen. I haven't tried wild garlic before but it's something I'd like to grow in a shady spot sometime in the future.

  2. All those meals look so good. I've never had nettles and not seen them anywhere around here. Though I'm not about to plant them. I remember walking through a patch when I was younger. Ouch.

    1. Thanks Daphne, yep the stingers can be quite painful! I wouldn't plant them either but as they were just growing at the edge of my plot I thought I may as well leave them. But they do pop up within the plot sometimes, so I fork them out in those instances.

  3. I guess that you need gloves to prepare maybe one day I will be brave enough to try it.

    1. Yep sue, you definitely need gloves for these! I also wore a glove for rinsing them in the sink but then just held them by the tip of the stem for snipping off the leaves straight into the pan and didn't get stung.

  4. The one time I had nettle soup was very interesting ... umm, a very "detoxing" experience! Not sure I'm ready to go there again any time soon. I can't wait for my chard, but wow, I've got a couple of months to wait?

    1. Ha ha Susie! I don't think either of us suffered those effects fortunately!
      My chard's been good this spring, but starting to bolt now. I have lots of seedlings popping up round the plot where I let some go to seed the last coup,e of years, so a apart from a short row of rainbow chard I've sown direct (between broad beans) I'll probably just transplant some of the others to their own spaces. I'm sure yours will be worth the wait!