It is spring, the days are pleasantly warm and suitable for long walks in nature.Our daily walks are now in the fields around the village where we currently live and we almost always come home with a variety of wild plants – nettles for soups, dandelion leaves for salads, plantain leaves and dandelion blossoms for tea. I use a part of the collected leaves and flowers immediately in our daily menu, and another part I carefully dry and store in tightly closing boxes – I will use them during the cold winter days.
“She, my mother, cooks nettle porridge every spring! Can you cook such porridge?” I faced this question 15 years ago, at the beginning of our life together with my husband Danail. And the answer was “No”! Although there are thousands of recipes of nettle dishes in traditional Bulgarian cuisine, they are different in different regions. And of course in the Dupnitsa region, where I was born and grew up, nettle is one of the most often cooked wild plants, but not as nettle porridge. It turned out that nettle porridge is a traditional recipe for the Vidin region, where my husband was born and raised. I had no idea what this dish was, but after a quick phone call with my mother-in-law, I found out. She was kind enough to give me her recipe, but since we only eat plant-based and gluten-free, I modified it. This is how my recipe for spring Vidin soup “Nettle porridge” appeared, prepared entirely with vegetable ingredients. I replaced the canned tomatoes from a jar with fresh cherry tomatoes and omitted the spring onions. To make the soup gluten-free, I prepared it with chickpea flour instead of wheat flour. Since my mother-in-law’s recipe included white brined animal milk cheese, I substituted natural tofu. And instead of fresh parsley leaves, I put fresh celery leaves. The soup is prepared quickly, relatively low-calorie and very tasty! I make it at least once a week and serve it for dinner with a salad of fresh seasonal vegetables.
The Vidin soup “Nettle porridge”, prepared according to my recipe, has the consistency of cream soup and the taste of nettle, but you can feel soft pieces of natural tofu and delicious cherry tomatoes – a wonderful spring low-calorie soup, prepared with completely plant-based ingredients and without gluten.
The completely cooled soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, and before serving it is good to warm it up without boiling again!
If you like spicy food, sprinkle chili powder or chili flakes on top when serving the soup.
Vidin soup ”Nettle mash”Course: Recipes, Soups
Spring soup with nettle
80 g fresh nettle stalk
300 ml hot water for blanching
1 l filtered water
10 g Himalayan pink salt
it can be replaced with any other salt
120 g red cherry tomatoes
80 g chickpea flour
100 ml filtered water for dissolution
15 g fresh celery leaves
can be replaced with parsley leaves
15 g sesame tahini
200 g natural tofu
- With a kitchen scale and a measuring cup, I weigh all the ingredients of the recipe separately.
- I wash the nettle stalks well and drain them, put them in a bowl and pour hot water on top, let them stand for 5 minutes. I drain the nettle well and cut it into small pieces. I wash the cherry tomatoes and cut each into 4 pieces.
- In a pot, I put the chopped nettle and the chopped tomatoes, add the salt and the water. I put the pot on the stove and turn it on at the highest level of heat, when it starts to boil I stir and let it boil for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, I put the chickpea flour and the water for dissolution, stir until a smooth uniform mixture is obtained. In the pot with the boiling soup, I add the chickpea mixture while stirring constantly, the soup thickens quickly. I take the pot off the heat and leave it aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl, I crush the pieces of natural tofu into small pieces. I wash and finely chop the fresh celery leaves. In the pot with the slightly cooled soup, I add the crushed tofu and the sesame tahini, add the chopped celery leaves and mix well.
- I put the soup prepared in this way into suitable bowls and serve as a light dinner together with a salad of fresh seasonal vegetables.
- Nutritional value per 100g. product:
- Energy value – 57.45 kcal
- Proteins – 4.26 g
- Carbohydrates – 4.16 g
- Fat – 2.41 g
- Fiber – 1.19 g