It’s autumn and the trees are in their most beautiful colors – all shades of yellow and orange, red and brown! The sun delights us with its warm rays every day and we walk in the fields of our village. Wild food from nature can still be found – rose hips and hawthorn berries, walnuts and edible mushrooms, wild apples and nettle stalks. We still pick nettles and dry them in a dehydrator – in the winter I add them to soups and stews. And with sprigs of fresh nettle, I prepare a delicious rice banitsa!
Nettle is a frequently used ingredient in Bulgarian cuisine and there are many traditional recipes from all regions of Bulgaria. My grandmother and mother prepared a traditional nettle soup with eggs every spring. I make soups with nettles at any time of the year – I use fresh or dried nettles. And because I love variety, I make nettle soups with different ingredients every time! I love the combination of flavors of the nettles and chickpeas, and the contrast between the slightly tough nettle leaves and the softness of the cooked chickpeas. And the combination of basmati rice, leeks and zucchini is extremely tasty – I often prepare it as a stew. And since I want to feel the specific taste of the nettle, I add only a few leaves of parsley. I add grape seed oil after removing the cooked soup from the heat and letting it cool slightly – this preserves the valuable fats from the oil.
If you do not have fresh nettle, use 20 g of dried nettle in the recipe and add it together with the other vegetables in the pot.
Soup ”Autumn mood”Course: Recipes, Soups
Chickpea soup with nettles and leeks
50 g nettle stalk
200 ml hot water for blanching
120 g pre-cooked chickpeas
can be substituted with canned chickpeas
80 g zucchini
80 g leeks
80 g green peppers
50 g white basmati rice
can be replaced with long grain rice
5 g turmeric powder
5 g ground coriander seeds
3 g ginger powder
3 g ground cumin
1.3 l filtered water
20 ml grape seed oil
5 g Himalayan pink salt
can be replaced with any other salt
15 g parsley leaves
- In a bowl I put the stalks of nettles and fill with hot water. I cover the bowl with a lid and let it stand for 10 minutes. Then I drain the nettles well and cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife.
- I wash the zucchini and cut them into pieces about 1 cm in size. I wash the leek stalks and cut them into thin circles with a thickness of 2 mm. I wash the green peppers, remove the stalks along with the seeds and cut them into small pieces.
- In a pot with a lid, I put the chopped vegetables and nettles. I add pre-cooked chickpeas and spices, cover with water. I put the pot on the stove and turn on the highest level of heat.
- I carefully check the rice for impurities and then wash it well under running water. When the water in the pot starts to boil, I add the washed rice and periodically stir with a wooden spoon. I wait 15 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the pot aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- I wash the parsley leaves and cut them into small pieces. I add the salt and grape seed oil to the pot, as well as the chopped parsley leaves. I mix well and let it cool for another 10 minutes.
- I put the warm soup in suitable bowls and serve for dinner.
- Nutritional value per 100g. product:
- Energy value – 45.91 kcal
- Proteins – 1.44 g
- Carbohydrates – 5.30 g
- Fat – 1.54 g
- Fiber – 1.40 g