Spring Tonic Soup

Spring Tonic Soup
Yields 6
Nettles are very high in minerals. They grow wild in British Columbia, Canada and in the spring pair well with asparagus and spinach. If you find some at a farmers' market and you know they have not been exposed to pesticides, grab some and make this soup. Give your body a spring tonic blast! If you can't get nettles, just substitute with watercress; it is also highly nutritious.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups nettles or watercress, tougher stalks discarded
  2. 2 cups spring spinach leaves or watercress
  3. 2 cups tender asparagus, chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons organic butter, ghee, or olive oil
  5. 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  6. 2 large leeks, trimmed, washed and finely sliced
  7. 1/4 cup chives
  8. 1/4 cup chervil
  9. 2 celery sticks, chopped
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  12. Sea salt
  13. Freshly ground black pepper
  14. Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter or oil in a large pan over medium low heat. Add the onion, leeks, celery, and garlic. Cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables steam for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir them a few times; you want the vegetables soft but not browned.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the nettles, spinach, chervil, and chives, stirring them into the stock as they wilt. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until tender and just wilted.
  4. Season the soup generously with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Purée the soup in two batches, reheat if necessary and check the seasoning.
  6. Serve in warmed bowls with a little squeeze of lemon juice.
Notes
  1. Garnish by swirling a dollop of yogurt or "cashew creama" into the soup for a creamy finish.
Recipes for Life by Rita Thomas and Chef Erin Holm http://www.recipesforlife.ca/

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