Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Escapee Beasts, Nettle Soup, Home Brewing.
How they escaped is a mystery; the gate that they had opened was secure when we left it yesterday. At least they came back to the farm buildings...it could have been a real nightmare if they had turned the other way and ended up on the main road, which has happened in the past and is not something we want to deal with again.
So, after the unexpected early start to the day the dogs & I went off to gather nettles for soup for lunch. I have found a good recipe for nettle soup and it seems such a waste not to use ingredients that are growing so abundantly in our hedgerows.
1/2lb nettles (the young top leaves)
11/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
sea salt & black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons sour cream (Optional. Milk or yoghourt will suffice)
Peel & cube the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes in salted water.
Chop the nettles and saute them in the butter and then stew for 5 minutes or so until soft.
Add the potatoes and the stock.
Simmer for 10 minutes and then puree.
This soup is the most gorgeous green in colour and served with fresh wholemeal bread makes a good filling meal. I have just served this lunch to our Soil Association inspector and it is always very reassuring when second helpings are asked for.
Nettles are of course very nutritious and grow everywhere though one should not pick them them if they are growing near a busy road-side. From a field hedge or in a wood is ideal.
The Farmer is going to try making nettle beer. He's got very keen again on home-brewing and was delighted to find a stash of demi-johns up in a loft in one of the buildings the other day that had been forgotten.The warmest corner of the kitchen by the Rayburn will be full of bubbling glass jars containing a variety of concoctions that one hope will be drinkable. Its not always guaranteed though!