At the beginning of June I am going on a Hatfield Forest wild camp overseen as always by Woodlife Trails and I've been thinking over food options. There will of course be some bannock action as they are my favourite camp sustenance but with the lush verdant growth I thought a Nettle heavy soup might be the order of the day for a meal. In the end my mini forage consisted of Nettles, Ramsons, Cleavers, Hedge Garlic (Jack-By-The-Hedge), Lime leaves and a small amount of Alexanders stalks.
I've blogged about making an Alexanders soup before but this recipe is slightly different. As per the Alexanders recipe I scrape the skin off which is quite strong tasting to reveal the celery-like inner.
After the Alexanders prep I roughly chopped the rest of the leaves which I guess amounted to around two good handfuls once chopped with about sixty per cent being Nettle tips.
I then started to slowly warm some water in a pan that I had cooked some vegetables in the previous night and saved.
I chucked in a vegetable gel stock cube and then a small packet of blitzed soffrito into the water. The other ingredients are pearl barley, and handful of which I had put on to cook earlier, and some powdered potato to thicken the soup.
The combination of the vegetable water, soffrito, and gel cub could have easily sufficed as a basic soup on it's own. The soffrito mix is 18% celery hence the reason I only got a little bit.
So without further ado the chopped greens went into the mix and it all got stirred together.
Once the pearl barley had nearly finished simmering I added it to the soup. It was cooled and frozen and will resurface in June with a fire baked savoury bannock of some sort.