Sunday, 1 April 2012

Not Quite Veg Everyday - but trying: nettle soup, courgette and rice file pie and oven dried tomatoes

I’ve been bemoaning the fact that my mission to eat less meat has gone somewhat awry during the last couple of weeks, but today I made it back on track big time.

Don't they look lovely?

I’ve been wondering about nettle soup on and off for a few years now but never had the confidence to just do it, but there it was, in the Saturday Guardian – St Hugh and a recipe for nettle soup. We have a garden full of nettles, so I donned some gloves and the scissors and set off to harvest the finest nature has to offer. I did as I was told and just picked the tips. The dog was very interested – he once stung himself in the eye in the self same nettle patches and has been fairly wary since, so he probably couldn’t work out why the human who does all the sensible things in his life like walking him, feeding him and removing ticks, was engaged in something so hazardous.  

Nettles? Nasty things

Anyways, I had everything the recipe required apart from leeks, but because I needed a battery for my scales to work out if I had enough nettles, I trotted off to the co-op. No batteries, so I pilfered my neighbour’s scales – she was reading the same nettle soup article. Spooky...

green soup
The picking over, washing and stalk removing was a bit of a faff but it’s a dead easy recipe once that’s done. The soup was a gorgeous bright green colour. Both Blue and Pink were keen to try (result in itself), although Pink decided against the addition of the yoghurt (as did the Husband). And it was TOTALLY DELICIOUS. The only drawback - my washing up gloves clearly weren’t thick enough as I got stung through them while I was doing the washing etc and my fingers are tingling as I type, but definitely one to repeat.

Blue was worried though. “Don’t we normally have a roast on Sunday?” he pondered. Obviously drawing his personal line in the sand there. “Well, we’re not having roast, we’re having pie” I explained, neatly sidestepping the issue of what exactly was going to be in the pie. However, mention of pie was clearly enough to satisfy him. I’m not sure he was expecting it to be courgette and rice filo pie which is what in fact it was. Another Veg Everyday recipe, really easy to put together – grated courgette, grated cheese, long grain rice, dill, parsley and a couple of eggs, in a filo case. The courgette liquid cooks the rice inside the pie case. I was a little sceptical that this would actually happen – it’s the sort of thing that normally goes wrong for me, but it worked.

By the time we’d finished at the allotment got home and I’d actually got it on the table, though, Blue and Pink were both knackered. “What’s in the pie?” asked Pink. “Well, I don’t like courgette”. Grrr – annoys me so much when they say that. “But I will try it” she added, graciously. I resisted the urge to thank her in my most sarcastic voice, gritted my teeth and got on with serving it up.

You know, I think it actually looks like what it's supposed to...
It was really lovely. We had potato salad, watercress, the oven dried tomatoes from Veg Everyday, and some hideously over food-mile’d mangetout peas. A feast indeed.

Sad to say, Pink tried and didn’t like, and Blue manfully ate it but said it was OK if he had it with the potato salad. A shame really because the Husband and I both enjoyed it (at least I think he did). So not one for family meals again at the moment, but perhaps by the time the garden is full to burst of courgettes the kids will have changed their minds. Here’s hoping.


  1. I'm going to try this - I just know my kids will be rude and probably cry. But persevere I will. I keep telling them how one day they'll be impressed at the variety of food they were exposed to as kids...they are soooooo lucky! ;)

    1. ha ha - mine too! I spent a bit of time working on the 'you must at least try it' rule so now they are pretty good at trying and they will consider the mouthful which has meant a bit improvement in what they will eat. I just got sooo sick of not cooking stuff because I was worried they wouldn't like it, or cooking twice and I reckon they are old enough now (8 & nearly 6) so I just cook what I'm cooking and if they don't like it, that's just a little tough. That said, I'm not as bold & tough as I make out - if I'm trying something new, I always make sure there's something on the menu that they do like - so we had nettle soup at lunchtime, but there was also lots of bread, cheese and salad around, and that's why there was lots of potato salad with the courgette pie...

  2. I want to try the soup! I have to get collecting the nettles - there are a whole field of them at school! Love the pie too - there has to be more ways with courgettes for those long weeks of glut! x


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