Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nettle Soup with Scallops

Since the Moussaka was such a hit last time, I decided to try another Melbournite chef recipe. This time, a recipe from Andrew McConnell's Cumulus. (Yum, Cumulus is near our work and go there once in a while for coffee and breakfast but mostly for their delicious sandwiches....)
I mainly picked this recipe because of the Nettles. I've never cooked with it before nor ate it, but Nettle has become quite popular with the resurgence of eating natural.

We went to Abbottsford Slow Cook farmers market (once every month) and bought a huge bunch of Nettles. I'm sure that most people know of it's stinging properties and since the recipe is quite minimal, I will go into how I prepped Nettle to remove the stings.

Soaking Nettle leaves
Do wear gloves, or if you're like my boyfriend who knows how to not get stung, go ahead and remove the leaves from the stem. I had a sink of warm water waiting for the leaves and I soaked them for 10 minutes. This is to wash the leaves and to also remove the sting from the silica stingers. (Formic acid away!) Some website says that you may notice the water changing to a rusty colour, which is supposedly normal but all I saw was dirt and grit. I quickly blanched the leaves in a pot of water, not too long because we're making soup of this and don't want the essence all drained out. As they're blanching, I noticed how amazing Nettle smells. They're a nuttier version of spinach. Yum.

After the leaves are blanched, they can be used per recipe:

Serves 6

1 medium onion diced
1 clove garlic
1 medium desiree potato, peeled and diced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Small pinch of dried chilli
1 litre chicken stock
200g picked young nettle leaves – approximately 1 large bunch
18 large scallops – roe intact
1 lemon
Ground black pepper
Salt flakes
50ml cream

In a stainless steel saucepan melt the butter and oil together and add the onion. Cook gently until soft and aromatic, taking care not to colour the onion. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes followed by the stock, potato and dried chilli. Bring to a simmer, and when the potato is cooked add the nettles. Continue simmering for three minutes. Remove from the heat, puree and pass through a fine sieve.

Just prior to serving, heat a heavy based or non-stick fry pan and add a teaspoon of oil. Season the scallops, then in batches of six panfry on each side for a minute or two until caramelised then arrange in soup bowls. Meanwhile, bring the soup to a simmer, add the cream and a good pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

To serve, either pour the soup into a large jug and serve at table, or arrange the scallops in the serving bowls and ladle soup around the scallops.

Canadian scallops, never again. void of natural sweetness.

canadian scallops

We don't have a food processor or a hand held whizz, so we went with the masher and got it as fine as we could:

Nettle soup with scallops
Final product. SO FREAKING GOOD. yummm
aaron's caeser salad
Aaron made a side of caesar salad to go with the delicious soup.


thisgoodhearth@blogspot.com said...

A nice summer's day meal!

Deena Smith said...

That soup looks amazing but I must say that Serving Bowl is beautiful-where did you get it!