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The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Nettle-Potato Soup

Donna Sassaman

Spencer 44
May 14th, 2015

Recently, I spent time on Pender Island with my friend, Anne, at her cabin. Our husbands remained at home – Bill in Cowichan Bay, involved with boat projects, and Tony in Vancouver, involved with urban projects.

It was my return-to-the-land experience, after 32 years away from the Kootenays. Anne and I spent time walking, talking, cooking, gardening, and foraging.

One morning, after gardening, we set out on a search for nettles in Anne and Tony’s woods, armed with rubber gloves and scissors. We returned with enough nettle tops to make a batch of Nettle-Potato Soup. This soup is best made in the spring when the nettles are young and tender. Otherwise, spinach, kale, or Swiss chard will do quite nicely.


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, or 1 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • A few handfuls of nettle tops (use gloves!), or other leafy greens, chopped roughly
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch or two of chili pepper flakes, if you like a bit of ‘heat’
  • Plain Greek yoghurt for garnish


  1. In a large skillet, sauté the onion and potatoes in the oil.
  2. Turn down the heat and cook, covered, for a few minutes until the onion is translucent but not brown.
  3. Heat the broth in a large pot and add the nettles. Cook until wilted and soft.
  4. Add the potato-onion mix, salt and pepper, and chili pepper flakes.
  5. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  6. If you want a smooth soup, blend with an immersion blender, or by batches in a blender.
  7. Serve the soup hot in bowls, each with a swirl of yoghurt (opt).


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