I adore fresh nettle and have been lucky enough to get my hands on some organic varieties. Just remember to wear gloves as it can give you a mild rash or hives temporarily. Nettle is an incredibly powerful herb and I use it for pregnancy as it is so rich in nutrients. It's also used for hay fever, dermatitis, arthritis and blood noses.
I made some lovely nettle and goats cheese frittatas as my snack at work last week and this week I have made a quick soup.
1 litre water
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, cut in 1 cm rings
2 Tbs quinoa
2 Tbs miso, dissolved in a bit of water
4 Tbs nettle leaves finely chopped
The nettle tops should be harvested early in spring when they are still very small (about 5 cm). Only use the small unfolded top leaves.
Put carrots, onion, leek and quinoa in water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 min until tapioca is clear and soup is slightly thickened. Stir from time to time to prevent the tapioca from burning. Add the miso and mix to dissolve. Add the chopped nettle leaves and only bring to boiling point. Don't boil to preserve the vitamins. Serve the miso soup immediately