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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Early April foraging !

today whilst wondering in the woodland areas and green isle of hedges today, it has struck me that yes it might be bloomin cold and perhaps not as dry as it has been, and my breath is forming cold clouds infront of my mouth as i walk along looking at the floor about me. it does in fact seem to be a very beautiful spring.
spring is one of the most beautiful times of year, not just for your eyes but also for your belly! there is plenty to offer in mother natures larder in these damp and green days!

today i fed myself of a dinner of broad bean and nettle patties, with hedge garlic and chives, along with a few st georges shrooms on the side,i dine like a king at these plentiful times of the year!!  my body is feeling all the goodness of this wild and wonderful food!

Please Always use a book on wild food or foraging, whilst out in mother natures larger, mis identifying your food could end quite badly, if your not sure dont munch it! be careful! but do be interested because it is a brilliant traditional skill to have, one that should be passed on down generations !!

this is hedge garlic! a very pretty little plant , with small white flowers forming at the top, hedge garlic is tasty in salads , and cooking for a slight garlic like flavour, typically despite the name is of not horticultural relation to the garlic family.
another tasty salad 'bitter cress' which is not, in my opinion, at all bitter, very much like water cress in taste, nice peppery flavour, the leaves do look like small delicate versions of water cress. a very tasty salad indeed.
Comfrey!  ah a gardeners best friend, comfrey tea is great for your plants, the leaves are good for mulching with! and its actually a pretty tasty treat once cooked, according to a close friend a comfrey fritter is his favourite spring dish! i like it in my nettle soup! but a fritter wont go a miss.
chickweed! well this is possibly a conventional gardeners worst nightmare! however it is a beautiful little plant, it produces star like white flowers later in the season! chickweed tastes like an earthy less irony spinach! it is delicious in salads, as well as cooked, i love adding a good bit of chickweed to a curry!
bringing back child hood memories! yes this is sticky willy! or cleavers! believe it or not it is loverly once it has been cooked up, and no it will not stick to your insides! its delicious and when wilted it becomes the most vivide emerald green! also good in a nettle soup, they often grow together (picture below) so if you get some sticky willy by accident well it does not matter at all!
nettles and Cleavers! easy pickings for your soups!

 Nettle soup is very good for you, full of vitamins and nutrients, nettles have a cleansing affect on the body, drinking nettle tea is another way of utilising their nettley goodness!
i have had many a compliment on my nettle soup, some people only remember me because of it, "yes im the girl who made the nettle soup"well they remember the soup anyway! 
enjoy and happy safe foraging! 

DON"T EAT IT!!!!!!

Rodger Philips wild food book is a very concise and accurate encyclopaedia , Colins guide do great little food for free books as well.

This is my own Nettle soup recipe, its not exact but nothing ever is these days!

lexi's Nettle soup

1 big bag of Nettles picked fresh
Cleavers as many as you wish
small bunch of hedge garlic leaves (maybe 8)
wild garlic (or shop garlic) each is grand! use about 6 cloves, or 3 wild bulbs and shoots
2 big red or white onions
1 big big potato or 2 medium sized potatoes
lots of black pepper
salt to taste
a stock cube of your choice
olive oil

i always add a bit of mixed spice, 
ground all spice and a pinch or 2 of cinnamon, its good i promise!

  • in a big pot fry up your chopped onions, garlics (if your using wild garlic save some of the end green bits for sprinkling, or a couple of wild garlic flowers for the beauty factor)
  • add your potatoes which have been roughly chopped up fry all of this in olive oil 
  • add in the cinnamon, allspice and mixed spice
  • toss all of this about until the onions and garlic are soft and melty
  • add the stock cube to about 800ml of boiling water (you can add mor or less eending on how thick you want your soup to be)
  •  add this stock to the big pot 
  • add the nettles and cleavers
  • put a lid on the big pot and bring to the boil
  • simmer the soup for 15 minutes or so, until your potatoes are soft
  • if you like leaves in your soup dont blend it all up, but if you want a smooth soup then blend away
eat your soup with a big hunk of wholesome bread! and i hope you enjoy!
thank you for reading!

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! You can eat Stickyweed?! And Fake Stinging Nettles (the garlicky thing)?! Revolutionary. So getting in on the free vitamins when I get home.