Plantain & Nettle Soup

28일 전

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Sometimes medicinal food is not merely the eating, but the preparation. The sun on my face and the dirt on my limbs as I weeded the garden, the sound of birds, the observation of nature in her glory - the first signs of Spring as the nectarine begins to leaf, the buddling leaf too on the verbena, the worms and the chooks and the pelicans flying overhead.

Today I was weeding and wombling and foraging and thinking about lunch. I love how the garden provides when you look hard enough - even in Winter, here in Victoria, Australia there is bounty to be had. Today my basket was filled with scraps of fennel stalks, a swede or two, just big enough to pluck, handfuls of nettles and plantain, spring onion tops and parsley. Not food that anyone would automatically think of as food - most of it doesn't look like you could sell it in a supermarket - but I know that each leaf and frond is nutritious and will go darn well in a soup. Hey, did I tell you it's winter? Winter IS soup - easy, nutritious and nourishing, especially when you've been chopping down trees and weeding and mowing.

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Someone asked me the other day about nettle soup. They have lots of nettles in their area yet have never thought to make soup out of them. I couldn't believe it - it strikes me yet again how little people know about the nutritious food that's readily available in their backyard and local area. It did give me a craving for it. This is my variation. You can substitue the vegetables for straight potato and nettle if you like, but I was pot happy and feeling like throwing all my foraged goods in. Plantain for pottasium and other minerals, similiarly nettle - which is also high in protein - parsley for iron. Fennel is full of vitamins and is said to be good for bone health. You could substitute celery, but fennel is quite mild tasting and NOT as aniseedy when cooked. I'm a huge fan of fennel in soups.

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I also made a garlic chive pesto. Jamie can't eat garlic and doesn't like garlic chives. A spoonful of this gave it a really garlicky taste. You could make a variation with any herb you like - parsley or basil would be good too, or dandelion or purslane leaves. If you aren't vegan, substitute the nutritional yeast for parmesan.

Nettle & Plantain Vegetable Soup

3 potatoes
1 small bulb of fennel
1 swede
A big handful of nettles
A big handful of plantain
Stock to taste, water
2 - 3 spring onion tops or a small onion

Saute the onion in coconut oil. Add fennel and fry for a minute. Add all the other ingredients and simmer til soft. Blend and return to pan, tasting for flavour. A splash of coconut or other milk could make it creamier.

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For a topping

I love seeds on my soup - it gives extra protein. Dry fry some pepitas, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds. Sesame seeds are good too - black sesame seeds are great, and I also love nigella seeds on my soup but I'm out! Fennel seeds are good too.

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Garlic Chive Pesto

A handful of garlic chives
3 tbsps almond flour
3 tbsp of nutritional yeast
Enough olive oil to blend to a smooth paste.

Voila! Now we had some extra energy to get us through our Sunday afternoon.

What is your favourite foraged garden soup?

Have you ever made meals of nettle or plantain?



This post is in response to @naturalmedicine's 'Food as Medicine' Wisdom Challenge. You can read about it here. It's sponsored by Curie and there are over 40 steem worth of prizes on offer. You can write about recipes, particular foods, family memories, special diets - anything you like! Entries until 27 July.





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hey, look into putting the #creativecoin tag on some of your more creative posts. photos of gorgeous food count - the art of food preparation. this looks really yummy!

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Oh I will now that you say it. I do write a fair few creative pieces from cooking 2 poetry to creative writing to other projects. That's why I'm excited about creative coin and I love the idea of it as one of the reasons I love steam it is because of all the creative folk here. Thanks for stopping by . sorry about the grammar in this post I am using speak to text xx

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do it!!! if you want to check out the server or read more info as to how it works, dm me!

Ah, winter and soup. Both are right around the corner. I love your bowls - they are fancy and not fancy at the same time.

So nettles...like stinging nettles? Are we thinking the same thing? I don't typically have many of them in my yard, but when I do spot one I try not to touch it for the obvious reason. It would be interesting to go against instinct and collect a handful of them. I do have an endless supply of dollar weed, which is apparently a salad green. I have yet to try it. Maybe I will tomorrow. I trimmed a bunch of collard greens and moringa for dinner tonight, so you and I are on the same wavelength.

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Yes, definitely THOSE nettles. They are absolutely incredibly medicinal - read about them and you'll be collecting them for tea and soup!! Oh, lucky you have moringa! It doesn't grow round here. And collard greens always sounds so American - I still don't really know what they are! Love Steem for giving us insight into other people's #plantlife, let alone lives!

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I am going to go on a bit of scouting to see if I can spot any nettles. They don't generally grow in my yard, but they may be nestled down somewhere I haven't observed. Moringa is supposed to be an annual here I think, but it came back just fine last year. We will see how she does this winter. I do enjoy seeing other people's plantlife as well :)

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And the bowls - they were CHEAP, like $3 each (AUD!) - from Kmart.

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You have kmart? Interesting. Kmart kicked the bucket all over Florida when I was a kid I think. I always assumed it was an American company, but I have no idea. That would be interesting to know it was thriving away in Australia :)

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Yeah someone asked me about that. I'm not sure what the difference is . It's always been here. I love it - full of bargains.

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Straight copy from internet:

"Kmart Australia Limited was born out of a joint venture between G.J Coles & Coy Limited (Coles) and S.S. Kresge Company in the United States, with Kresge owning 51% of the common stock in the company. They began to develop Kmart stores in Australia in 1968."

Over the years, ownership of Kmart Australia changed, from the original joint venture to the Coles-Myer Group to the present Wesfarmers Ltd (one of Australia's biggest public companies and one of the largest retailers.) Other retail companies under the Wesfarmers banner are: Target Australia, Officeworks, Bunnings, Coles and Kmart Tyre and Auto. It also has interests in mining, travel, insurance, among others.

There you go.

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Interesting. That makes sense, since it is gone from here. Now if I could just find a way to add the word "cents" into that middle sentence I would be very happy.

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Oh god - sorry for three messages in a row, but hey, it ups my count on the engagement leagues, so maybe this is my new strategy haha. Anyway, I meant to respond to the fact WINTER IS COMING for you because SPRING IS COMING FOR ME!! There are BUDS! I don't even feel we have got to proper winter yet - I think it's been unseasonably warm. Still, too cold to go swimming in the ocean so ....

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That is generally how I rate winter as well: "Too cold to go into the ocean." We don't get much here either, but hey, if you can't swim then it is winter :) Generally I dread winter just because I don't like short days, but I am learning to embrace it slowly. I always look forward to fall.

This soup definitely looks like a healing food. Need to read about nettle though

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H-m-m! There's a new one on me! I never heard of using plantain leaf in cooking. I always used it for topical remedies. The seeds I did use as a laxative and had contemplated having the seeds as topping with my cereal but never eating the leaves. Good to know!
Love your simple garlic chive pesto recipe - so quick and easy! Another homestead fast food! Thanks for sharing!

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Well I have read that it was added to soups and stews, so I figured it wasn't going to kill us lol. And if we cook it up as infused tea comma then the discarded leaves become lost fibre period so I figured Plantain in soup would work just fine.

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I am always stopped in my tracks by your winter posts. LOL Here in winter:

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Not much foraging here. :))

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Hahah I know right!! Love it. Xx

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Looks good and healthy, @riverflow. Soup is so warming in winter 😊

Woops, I linked this in my post yesterday and just realized I never commented! Blame it on Monday brain. ;) This looks delicious! I actually have not had nettles except maybe in a tea, but I know they are super nutritious. I need to look into that more to see if I can find them around here or try to cultivate some. Love that pesto, too. Definitely a bowl full of energy right there!

I still can't imagine a life without garlic, and admire your creative way through that conundrum. I agree with you that a huge part of natural medicine is in the intention we demonstrate in the picking, washing, planning & preparing. LOVELY post, my dear.


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We had a late start last spring so I got short on fresh veggies but plenty of plantain and nettles around. Your recipe will come in handy!

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Indeed! A really good supplement to the diet when you are short!

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