Thursday, 28 May 2015

Dandelion Jam & Nettle Soup

My partner in crime when it comes to outdoor family food and foraging events is the lovely Mandy Tulloch of Mud Pie Adventures. Together we've ran Wild Garlic Bear Hunts, Blaeberry Bashes, Bramble Rambles and Shortest Day Food in the Woods events. We're currently plotting our activities for the Summer Holidays so if you are in Aberdeen/shire do make sure you are on the Mud Pies mailing list to be kept up to date with our plans. This week she shared a couple of wild food recipe suggestions on my Foodie Quine Facebook page and they caused quite a stir with my followers so I asked her if I could repost them on my blog to avoid them disappearing into the abyss of old facebook posts. 



Foraged Wild Food - Nettle Crisps


We did venture into the delicious world of the nettles at one of our previous events when we cooked up a batch of nettle crisps. Simply deep fried nettles. Great on their own or with a sprinkle of either salt or sugar. Promise they won't sting your mouth. I also enjoyed them as tea and spring greens on a Prehistoric Cookery Weekend with Wild Rose Escapes
Without further ado, over to Mandy for her versions of Dandelion Jam & Nettle Soup...



Foraged Wild Food - Dandelion Jam / Honey


Well I'm feeling very pleased this morning. I've made some dandelion jam and it tastes great - very much like honey believe it or not! I used the Wild About Food recipe. There's still at least week's worth of flowers before they all turn to seed so give it a go! We collected 150 flower heads. Yes, that sounds a lot but give a child a pair of scissors and they're off. Make sure you cut the stem off completely at the base - it has a bitter tasting white sap you don't want in your jam. 150 flowers makes 1 jar of jam (a half quantity of the Wild About Food recipe)

Foraged Wild Food - Dandelion Jam / Honey

Boil a sugar syrup then add the flowers and simmer for 20 minutes. Leave to infuse overnight. I wasn't too sure about the end product - looked a bit sludgy to me! Until tomorrow...
Strain last night's infusion and simmer for another 20 minutes. I left some petals in as it looks nice and didn't add any pectin so it's more of a jelly than a jam but it looks and tastes great. I will definitely be doing this next year.

Foraged Wild Food - Dandelion Jam / Honey

We had nettle soup for dinner tonight. No, it wasn't sludgy and slimy but fresh, delicious and easy to make. Here's how: pick a carrier bag of nettle tips. Saute some veg - we used onions, garlic, celery, carrots and leeks. Add some good stock - say vegetable or chicken - and bring to the boil. Throw in the nettles and simmer for 3 minutes. Blitz, season and enjoy! 

Foraged Wild Food - Nettle Soup

Not a sting in sight. We discovered that if you put the bowl under the nettle and snip you don't get stung!

Foraged Wild Food - Nettle Soup

Vegetable base for soup - onions, garlic, carrots, celery and leeks. You can use anything you like. Check the nettles for beasties, wash and throw in to the pot along with the stock. Liquidise for a few seconds, season and serve. Yum, especially with croutons!

Foraged Wild Food - Nettle Soup
Foraged Wild Food - Nettle Soup

Thanks to Mandy and her family for sharing their fantastic wild food creations. I'm definitely planning to get out and about this weekend and attempt to make both. There's very possibly enough of both nettles and dandelions at the bottom of my garden! I'm hoping there might still be a wee bit of Wild Garlic lurking to add to the soup. I asked my fellow food bloggers if they had any Dandelion or Nettle Recipes to share and I was pleasantly surprised at what they came up with. The Dandelion Honeys are along very similar lines to Mandy's Jam. Have fun eating weeds!


Dandelion Honey by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary


Dandelion Honey by Tin & Thyme

Nettle & Feta Ravioli by The Hedge Combers

Salmon & Nettle Tart by Farmersgirl Kitchen

Nettle & Lemon Cake by Veggie Deserts


Plus a couple from my foraging partner in crime. Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods

9 comments :

  1. Some lovely ideas for foraged goodies, thanks for including my recipe.

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  2. Nettle soup is one of my all time favourites. What a great way to get nutrients into kids. The dandelion jam looks so pretty with the petals included. Good luck with all your foraging exploits and thanks for linking to my recipes :)

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  3. This isn't a soup that I have tried before, but I would be interested to try it.

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  4. I had no idea dandelion flowers were edible – the bright colour would make for a lovely garnish!

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  5. Wow that jam looks like a pot of sunshine and love the idea of nettle soup - both of these are now on my bucket list! Thank you for entering #CreditCrunchMunch:-)

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  6. I love nettle soup. I made dandelion jam once when I lived in Glasgow with foraged ingredients, I was planning to make some this year with the recipe , maybe I w ill be able to find some - yours looks so pretty esp with the petals.

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  7. Your nettle soup looks lovely - so smooth, not at all prickly! ;) the jam sounds really interesting too.

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  8. You are such a foraging inspiration! I should have added to my 40 before 40 to come down and join you on one of your foraging days! Thank you for linking up with Simple and in Season

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  9. Wow I love both recipes and cannot believe the colour of that jam, amazing! Great to see natural foods being used so creatively :)

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