This time of year in the Austrian Alps, the warm spring temperatures have provided the chance for us to start foraging in the surrounding woods. One of the first things we have found around MoaAlm Mountain Retreat is lots of fresh nettles. Ligita, our plant based chef would like to share her recipe for a Wild Nettle Soup and Garlic Herb Scones.
“Being raised by the parents that love foraging, I was always very curious about edible plants and berries. To me nature fascinates me with everything it provides. Nowadays, the rhythm of life is so much faster that we often forget where the food comes from. It is so easy to go to the shop and buy food or ingredients for cooking that is already made for you. But when I look around I always see something edible, whether it’s a nettle that can turn into soup or just a tasty blueberry to snack on.
While living here in the Alps I started to learn more about the alpine plants and flowers. The summer time is fantastic to be around as everything blossoms and now is the time to pick. I don’t even need to go very far, right next to MoaAlm grows stingy nettles, which I use for soup as it nourishes us with minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C and K. It is also great in teas or homemade pesto. My summer project is to dry some nettles for the winter and then blend it into powder for cold winter smoothies”
Makes 6 portions
• 400g of Nettles
• 1litre of veg stock
• Dash of olive oil
• 2 medium size onions, finely chopped
• 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 2 medium size potatoes, finely chopped
• Salt and pepper to season
• 1 tsp of sugar
• Some fresh dill to decorate
Firstly pick the wild nettles and carefully wash in cold water. We use gloves for protection and then cut off any leaves that are old or stems that are too thick.
In the meantime saute onions and garlic with a bit of olive oil in a saucepan for a few minutes on a medium heat until soft. Add the potatoes and mix it for a few minutes. At this stage, make sure your potatoes are not sticking to the pan, if they are, add some more oil or just keep mixing.
Add the veg stock and boil until potatoes are soft.
Here comes the nettle part, carefully place them in a pan with all soup mix and simmer for 1-2 min. The less you keep them in boiling water, the more nutritious they will remain.
Blend everything, season with salt and pepper, add some sugar and voila!
We like to make some Garlic Herb Scones with our Nettle soup or just eat it with some fresh bread. Delicious and nutritious!
• 2/3 cup of non-dairy milk
• 1tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
• 1 cup of all-purpose flour
• 1 cup of whole grain flour
• 1tbsp dried garlic
• 1 tsp salt
• Handful of fresh herbs, we used dill
• 1 tsp dried chives
• 1tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 60 g vegan butter
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• Handful of sesame seeds, optional
Firstly, preheat your oven to 230 C degrees. In a small cup measure your milk and add lemon juice or vinegar, leave for at least 5 minutes to let it curdle.
In a bowl mix your flours, dried garlic, salt, baking powder, garlic, baking soda, chive and dill. Cut your butter into small pieces and rub it with your flour mix. It should look a bit like wet sand.
Then make a well and add slowly your curdled milk. Mix it all really well. The dough should be a bit sticky and elastic (don’t knead too much!).
Divide the dough into 2 long sausages and make 4 cookie looking circles of each. So you should end up with 8 cookie looking circles.
Then place them on the tray, brush it with a bit of milk or oil, press your 2 fingers in the middle of each scone and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Bake it for 8-10 minutes until nice and golden.
Once they are out, we like to add extra garlic. Place a bit of butter in the plate, melt it and add one crushed garlic clove. Then brush on top of your warm fresh scones.
Easy, delicious and so fluffy inside 😊
A nutritious seasonal meal that has the added bonus of including a gorgeous walk in the woods while searching and foraging for the fresh ingredients. Our Hiking guide at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat has an abundance of knowledge and enthusiasm for the plants and wildlife surrounding our Austrian Alpine location. Check out our website for our Summer Hiking Holidays.