Thursday, June 11, 2020

Stinging Nettle Potato Soup

Recently I discovered stinging nettle growing wildly here in New Hampshire. I have heard about these nutritious plants but I have never encountered them in the wilderness. Be sure to harvest them with gloves and proper harvesting clothing (i.e., pants, socks, closed shoes, long-sleeved shirt, and etc.) as they do sting! Please eat only wild plants that you can positivity identify. If you have any health problems or are taking any medicines (prescription, over-the-counter or herbal supplement) please consult with your health care providers before eating any wild edible plants.

You can drizzle a little cream or coconut milk to this soup if interested. If you do not have or prefer not to use fish sauce then just add more salt or chicken bouillon to season this soup. For this recipe, I double my Basic Rehydrated Green Crab Stock. For a faster way to cook potato, slice it as thinly as possible.
stinging nettle potato soup
Stinging Nettle Potato Soup


Basic Rehydrated Green Crab Stock (double the recipe)   
1 large russet potato, peeled and sliced thinly, rinsed and drained
2 large handful of stinging nettle tips, washed well and drained
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Chives flowers and leaves, garnish (optional)


Make the crab broth, strain, and reserve the broth. In a medium-sized pot add the potato and cook until soft, drain the liquid. Add the crab broth and stinging nettle tips to the cooked potato, cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and fish sauce. Turn off heat and let everything slightly cool before pureeing or blending everything. Garnish with chive flowers and chopped leaves.

stinging nettle
stinging nettle field

Basic Rehydrated Green Crab Stock

This basic green crab stock or broth is made from dried green crabs. Increase or decrease the ratio of ingredients to make more or less stock. You may add more crabs if you prefer a more concentrated broth. Before adding the dried crabs in the water you may crush them further using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin to extract the most flavor out of them. This stock is very basic. You may add extra ingredients such as dried squid, dried shrimp, bonito flakes, animal or fish bones, seaweed, mushrooms, onion, scallions, ginger, cilantro stems/roots, carrots, parsnip, daikon, and celery for more flavors. I generally do not season my stock or broth as I will add it later in the final stage of cooking. My seasoning includes one or several of these ingredients; salt, fish sauce, soy sauce, fresh or dried beef, chicken, or mushroom stock. 

dried green crab stock
Basic Rehydrated Green Crab Stock


2 cups of water
1/4 cup dried green crabs


Heat these two ingredients until the water comes to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer for 20-25 minutes. Strain and discard the shells.

Vietnamese Crab and Asparagus Soup (Sup Mang Cua)

Apparently Vietnamese crab and asparagus soup (súp măng cua) is a popular soup eaten on special occasions such as wedding banquets in Vietna...