Michael Healy-Rae serves up some healty nettle soup.


  • for the stock:
  • 110 g butter
  • 2 leeks (washed and sliced)
  • 3 celery stalks (washed and chopped)
  • 1 spanish onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 3 l water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of tarragon
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bulb of garlic halved
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns (heaped)
  • salt to taste
  • for the nettle soup:
  • 110 g butter
  • 1 large spanish onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 leek (washed and finely sliced)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 4 potatoes (peeled and coarsley chopped)
  • 500 g fresh nettle leaves (young leaves from the top of the plant)
  • 3 l freshly made vegetable stock


  • To make vegtable stock:
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, add all prepared vegetables and sweat until tender for about 20 minutes, do not allow them to colour.Then add the water and all the fresh herbs, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.
  • Pour the stock through a fine strainer and set aside for the soup.
  • To make nettle soup:
  • In a large pot gently melt butter over a low heat, add onion, garlic, leek and celery stalks and sweat until tender for about 20 minutes.
  • Add potato chunks and sweat a further 5-10 minutes, mixing well and not allowing any dark colouration to occur.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for 15-20 mimutes until the potatoes are tender, then add the nettles and remove from the heat to preserve colour.
  • Process the soup in small batches in a liquidiser and pass through a strainer into a clean pot. Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Pour into soup bowls and garnish with a drizzle of double cream and a small scattering of freshly made croutons and chopped chives, serve immediately.

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