alive logo

Spring Nettles Vichyssoise

Serves 6.


    Spring Nettles Vichyssoise

    A typical vichyssoise is served cold, fully decked with potatoes, plenty of rich cream, and leeks. We’ve taken a bit of liberty here by adding healthy and vitamin-packed spring nettles to the base. And more importantly, our nettle soup is even more exceptional because it’s delicious served either cold or warm.



    For optimal health, pick fresh stinging nettle leaves and use within a day. If stinging nettles are difficult to find, substitute with spinach.

    Note: Stinging nettles are in abundance in the spring. But caution is needed when harvesting and handling. The tiny fuzz on the leaves are microscopic needles that stick in your skin and sting relentlessly. It’s best to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when foraging. To harvest, wear latex gloves and, using a pair of scissors, cut leaves, dropping them into a bowl.


    Spring Nettles Vichyssoise


    • 2 medium-sized leeks
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil or unsalted butter
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
    • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
    • 5 cups (1.25 L) stinging nettle leaves (see Tip)
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh dill
    • 2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
    • Thick plain yogurt or crème fraîche, microgreens, or edible flowers, for garnish


    Per serving:

    • calories100
    • protein2g
    • fat3g
      • saturated fat0g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates18g
      • sugars3g
      • fibre3g
    • sodium277mg



    Trim off tough green ends and roots from leeks. Cut leeks lengthwise in half and rinse well to remove any grit. Blot dry. Coarsely slice.


    In large saucepan, heat oil or melt butter. Add leek, onion, carrot, potato, and garlic. Sauteu0301 over medium heat until onion is soft. Do not brown. Stir in stock and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to fully soften vegetables. Stir in stinging nettles, dill, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat.


    Transfer to high-speed blender or pureu0301e with stick blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and some pepper if desired.


    Refrigerate, uncovered, until fully chilled.


    To serve, ladle into small bowls or cups. Dollop with some thick plain yogurt or creu0300me fraiu0302che. Scatter with microgreens or some edible flowers for garnish.


    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the How Good Is Green? collection.



    SEE MORE »
    Poached Sablefish and Bok Choy with Lemongrass, Ginger, and Chili
    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.