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Nettle, Wild Garlic and Ground Elder Soup

It's officially Spring, a time of new beginnings, longer daylight hours (yeeha!) and powerful, nutritious herbs. This recipe is one I first made a number of years back, at my first ever food festival - I had a 30 minute slot, so needed something quick easy and representative of some of the tasty, nutritious and powerful herbs available - it's a recipe that I've tweaked over the years and recent tweaks have left me feeling very satisfied with the results and those who have shared a bowl or two with me. The great joy of this soup, other than it's delicious and satisfying taste, is the ease of identification of the wild ingredients, the very small quantities required and the simplicity regarding the cooking. This isn't just a 'simply green tasting soup', this is wild gourmet food at it's simplest and finest.

Ingredients:

75g Nettle Tops
75g Wild Garlic
35g Ground Elder
2 Onions
5 Garlic Cloves
1 - 2 Tbsps Fermented Brown Rice Miso Paste
2 - 3 Tbsps Coconut Oil
1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
1 Large Tbsp Creme Fraiche
1 Litre Spring Water or Fresh Birch Sap
Sea Salt (Smoked Sea Salt is a lovely alternative)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Toasted Pine Nuts
Parmesan Crisp

Melt the coconut oil in saucepan, add the chopped onions and sweat gently for 10 - 15 minutes to caramelise slightly, add the chopped garlic, again sweat gently for 5 minutes. Add the spring water or birch sap and bring to approx 80 degrees heat. Add the nettles, wild garlic and ground elder, stirring them in to wilt them. Once wilted pop all this into a food processor and blitz. Add the creme fraiche, miso paste, nutmeg, lime juice, pepper and sea salt to taste and blitz again - once satisfied with the flavour it's ready to eat with some fresh crusty bread. For extra decadence and texture you can add toasted pine nuts and a section of parmesan crisp. To make the parmesan crisp: grate approx 80g of parmesan evenly, on to a piece of grease proof paper, place on a metal baking tray, sprinkle on some fresh black pepper and ground nutmeg and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees until golden brown, remove and leave to cool.
  

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