A great recipe for the hungry gap, when UK veg is scarce. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shows us how it's done:
"The keys to an excellent nettle soup are potato - to give it body - and really good stock - to give it spirit. Without these the wild food cynic's worst suspicions of boiled weeds will be confirmed. Note that a carrier bag is the standard measure for nettles."
Wearing rubber gloves, sort through the nettles, discarding anything you don't like the look of and any thick stalks. Wash the nettles and drain in a colander.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 5-7 minutes until softened. Add the stock, nettles, potato and carrot.
Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the potato is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Using an electric hand-held stick blender, purée the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into warmed bowls and float a teaspoonful of creme fraiche on top. As this melts, swirl in a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and Tabasco.