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Goodness Gracious Green Soup

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“Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigor…”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet and Essayist

Nettle, Leek and Potato Soup

While Papa and I were out strolling through the English hillsides the other day, we came across a clump of young nettle leaves and I suddenly had the crazy idea to be all old-fashioned and throw something fresh and wild in my next soup.

My sweetheart was kind enough to don some suede gloves and pick a bunch for me, which we stored in the fridge once we got home (again using suede gloves.)

Though these prickly little plants get a bad name because of their sharp, stingy nature, they are actually quite useful and healthy. These little plants inspired me to lovingly sing the praises of nettles, in a previous post.

So, the next soup that I made was a simple leek and potato soup with a bit of onion and chives and, of course, nettle! It came out so good I thought that I’d document it here for you.

This soup’s goodness comes not just from flavour, but from it’s combining the antibiotic properties of leeks, the filling starchiness of potatoes and the high vitamin content of the nettles. So, this is a great immune booster for getting over a cold more quickly, and it is yummy too! You can’t ask for more than that.

    Goodness Gracious Green Soup
    Makes: 6-8 bowls
    Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
    Cooking Time: 1-2 hours

    8 leeks, washed and chopped
    4 medium potatoes, cubed
    1 large onion, diced
    1 sandwich baggie full, or 2 cups, of nettle
    1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
    1/4 teaspoon thyme
    1 tbsp of chives
    pinch of garlic salt
    salt & pepper to taste


    1. Wash and chop leeks, using only the white portion and a small bit of the light green part.

    2. Peel, wash and cube the potatoes.

    3. Using rubber kitchen gloves (or tinfoil over your hands) rinse the nettles.

    4. Fill a large saucepan half way with water.

    5. Add the leeks and potatoes.

    6. Bring to a boil then add the nettles and herbs/spices.

    7. Let simmer on low for 1 hour. Salt as needed.

    8. Using a blender, puree the soup until smooth. (Be sure to temper the glass by heating it up slowly, so as not to break your blender pitcher.)

    9. Serve with a nice hearty bread or some barley/couscous/rice on the side.

    It may sound funny, but having done a degree in history and having been a museum geek, in costume, for a good portion of my life, I am very into categorizing things into historical epochs. This blog is named after a Victorian cookbook, but this soup is what I call a “very medieval soup.” So get out your sword, loosen your corsets and dig into this groovy green soup!

  • That looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to use nettles, but I find it so intimidating. You use the actual prickly parts?

  • That’s right Kate, once those prickly little guys hit boiling water they go all soft and friendly. ;-)