Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!
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This spring seems to be flying by and we are enjoying all of the activities that it brings!
My spring weekend goals always included meals that are simply as hands free as possible. After months in the cold weather, we just want to be outside.
Last weekend was on the chilly side, though we still had some yard and garden work to finish up, and I noticed my stinging nettles were ready to harvest. Those fresh spring rains we had the weekend before really kicked their growing into gear and the tender, young greens at the tops of those plants are perfect for a spring soup on a chilly day.
Stinging nettles are a vitamin and mineral rich powerhouse that can add into just about any recipe so long as the “sting” is cooked out of them. Give them a quick steam and add them to a green smoothie, wilt them into your favorite stew or stir fry, or blend them up with a fresh green soup like this roasted garlic and asparagus soup, and you can add an abundance of nutrients to your bowl.
Many people have stinging nettles growing in their backyard and, as long as you haven’t sprayed chemicals or fertilizers, those stinging nettles are free backyard greens to use in your meal planning – and boy do they grow and multiply! I like to harvest the tender young leaves from the top and they will just keep re-growing throughout the season. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the sting – one nice thing about this soup is that since the soup is pureed, I just pick the leaves with my gloves on, give them a good wash and dump them right into the soup pot without touching them! No chopping needed! (This is a great post about the “how-to” for stinging nettle harvesting if you have never done it before. I also like this post about how to harvest and cook with stinging nettles.)
But wait! If you don’t have access to fresh stinging nettles, you can buy dried nettles and use that!
Of course this time of year is just brimming with asparagus as well and together with drool worthy roasted garlic this green soup is not only loaded with nutrients, it also tastes amazing!
It made a great, quick weekend lunch and the leftovers packed up in the school thermos for an easy to pack school lunch.
- 5 TB butter, divided
- 1 bunch of asparagus, tough ends discarded
- 9-10 cloves of garlic (about 1 head of garlic)
- ½ large onion, sliced
- 2 cups fresh stinging nettles (Be sure to use gloves while handling so you don't get stung. If you don't have access to fresh nettles, you can use about ¾-1 cup of dried nettles.)
- 1½ quarts bone broth
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Optional whole yogurt or sour cream to top each bowl of soup, fresh raw cream or coconut milk to stir in
- Optional freshly chopped chives to garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss the asparagus and garlic cloves with 2 TB of butter and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast in at 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
- While the veggies are roasting, melt 3 TB of butter in a soup pot and add the onions with a big pinch of sea salt. Cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes to soften and sweeten the onion.
- Add the fresh stinging nettles to the pot, stir and cook for a couple minutes to wilt.
- Add the bone broth and roasted asparagus and garlic, and bring to a simmer for a few minutes.
- Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish your bowl of soup with a dollop of whole yogurt or sour cream, or stir in some fresh raw cream or coconut milk. Fresh chopped chives are great too!
For more nourishing food ideas, you can follow my Nourishing Staples board on Pinterest!
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