I was out rustling around in the greenhouse this morning and came across a few things that stirred up my spring fever... again! This morning, the bright sunshine reflecting off the snow caused the temperature in the greenhouse to reach over 60 degrees! The temperature shift has helped the potted elderberry bushes inside the greenhouse to come out of hibernation. This was quite unexpected considering the greenhouse has a layer of ice and snow over it. A few steps away from the greenhouse I inspected a few more southern facing 'warm spots' and discovered some vigorous nettles forcing themselves throw the snow. Oh Boy, it won't be long now! By March 15, the class may just be having their first taste of Spring Tonic Soup. I sure am craving it today!
SUE'S SPRING TONIC SOUP
1 bunch of leeks, cleaned and chopped (dark green leaves removed)
2 carrots, grated
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 Tb butter
2 quarts good chicken stock (or water)
1 cup oat flakes
salt and pepper to taste
large colander full of spring nettle tops (rinsed)
large handful of dandelion greens (rinsed)
(you may add other assorted wild greens: a few small violet leaves, chickweed, garlic grass, small
garlic mustard greens, dock greens, etc.)
Saute' leeks, carrots and garlic in butter over low heat until soft.
Cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add oat flakes, stir and cover.
While broth is simmering, grab a pair of scissors and a colander and go harvest your greens.
To avoid the inevitable nettles sting, snip off the young tops with the scissors and allow them to drop right into the strategically placed colander. Then use the scissors again to snip the tops into smaller pieces while they are still in the colander. You never have to touch them this way.
Rinse to remove any soil and add to the simmering stock. Rinse, chop and add any other spring green you have collected. Let the greens and soup simmer until all the greens are wilted completely but still vibrant in color (15 minutes). Just before serving add a splash (or three) of heavy cream.
oh so yummy!