Green soup was an integral part of childhood for me; in my memory and in my heart it will always hold nurturing, healing, and health-bestowing properties. When we were sick we had green soup, and it was far better than any commercial “medicine”; it was our medicine.
Nettle soup is a traditional spring tonic, replenishing much-needed nutrients from the long cold winter. My mother always put sorrel in to our green soup, which added its sour flavour, along with an abundance of vitamins and minerals.
My favourite wild spring green soup right now is a combination of three-cornered leek, dock, and potato. It is super smooth and completely delicious, with the added bonus of waking up the cells after the sleepy darker months. The sulphur-containing compounds in the three-cornered leek (Allium triquetrum) act as a digestive tonic and enliven the circulatory system. This soup really is a magical natural medicine.
Recipe – Wild Green Soup (Spring)
- 3 medium potatoes
- 4 or 5 good handfuls of three-cornered leek
- 3 or 4 dock leaves
- Vegetable stock
- Olive oil
- Chop the potatoes, fry them in a splash of olive oil for a few minutes.
- Chop the lower half (the end without flowers) of the leeks, along with the dock leaves, and add to the pan, frying for a few minutes more.
- Add stock to just cover the contents of the pan.
- Simmer gently until the potatoes are almost soft.
- Chop and add the remaining leeks to the pot (reserving the flowers).
- Simmer until the potatoes are soft.
- Blend until completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve sprinkled with some of the reserved flowers.
Obviously don’t pick and/or eat anything unless you are 100% sure of its identity, and that it is safe to eat. Follow good foraging practice, be aware of where you are picking and make sure anything picked is away from main roads or areas where pesticides may have been sprayed. You could make this recipe with shop-bought leeks if you really wanted to, or with spinach, rocket, or kale. Use intuition and common sense in all things, but particularly when cooking.