Stinging Nettle Soup: Greens in Winter Food Poem

Stinging Nettle Soup | Annelies Zijderveld

Greens in Winter

Stiff edged leaves want

to stick fingers, prick them

if unaware of their nature.


Winter has left us

bereft, for years we knew

what to expect. But now,


farmers throw their hands

out to the fields, then up to

the skies. When precipitation


makes some states quake,

ours is notably barren.

The dustbowl is what came


of December, long remembered

for rain. We ask ourselves if

the Bay area could become L.A.


even as a cloud of smog hovers

where the fingers of fog used

to snake over green hills as cover.


To take a season and shake it up

like a snowglobe is to redistribute

what is known with the unknown,


leaving us to pray for rain for a Fuyu

tree in Anderson valley, to wait and see

if in a year the fruit will blossom and grow.

Stinging Nettle Soup | Annelies Zijderveld



This soup’s bright green color is the perfect pick-me-up for a cold January evening. Sumptuous without being overly indulgent, the almond milk gives just enough of a creaminess with a smidge of warming nutmeg added that lets the subtle flavor of nettles shine. Take note and wear gloves as suggested below. Stinging nettles get their name for a reason when raw, but once cooked, they can be used in similar ways as spinach.

YIELD: 4-6 servings


8 ounces of stinging nettles

3 cups of spinach

1 medium onion

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups almond milk

freshly cracked black pepper


Slip your hands into gloves and rinse the nettles. Bring a heavy bottomed pot 3/4 full of water to a boil. With gloves still on, move the nettles and spinach into the pot. Submerge them with a wooden spoon, letting them cook for 10 minutes. Drain them and squeeze the  liquid out of the greens between two paper towels .

Meanwhile, chop the onion. Turn the heat under a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the olive oil and butter until melted.  Saute the onion until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, the nettles and spinach. Saute for 4 minutes.

Puree the soup in two batches until it’s smooth, adding 1 cup of almond milk each time. Serve with crusty bread, the kind that has enough personality to be a bit sour.

[/print_this]Stinging Nettle Soup | Annelies Zijderveld 2014-01-14 18.11.09


Stinging Nettle Spaetzle – Honest-Food

Pasta with Stinging Nettles and Ramps Pesto – Sassy Radish

Stinging Nettle Ravioli Gnocchi – A Hungry Bear Won’t Dance

Nettle and Ricotta Tart – Treehugger

Stinging Nettle Omelette – Nourished Kitchen


  1. Leave a Reply

    January 15, 2014

    Your poem is full of beautiful images. Indeed, winter seems to have left us and it is confusing to people and above all plants. Let’s pray for rain for all the creatures.

    • Leave a Reply

      January 23, 2014

      Thanks Simona. Rain is on our lips morning and night. I never thought I would be among those longing for it.

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