(Serves 4 - 6)
- 750 ml light chicken stock
- 1 kg peas in the pod
- 1 large handful flat leaf parsley
- 2 leeks
- 3 heads green garlic
- 2 large handfuls nettles (or 1 horseradish root)
- 2 bunches sorrel
- 2 large bunches spinach
- 100 gms cavolo nero leaves
- 100 ml olive oil
- 2 sprig thyme
- 1 bunch mint leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the stock into a saucepan, then shell peas and add pods to the stock. Wash parsley, then pick the leaves and add the stalks to stock. Bring stock to a boil.
Wash garlic and leeks and cut into 1 cm rounds. Wearing gloves pick nettle leaves from stalks, then wash well and spin or shake dry and drain on a paper towel.
Trim stalks from sorrel, spinach and cavolo nero and wash similarly.
Heat olive oil over a moderate flame in a medium sized stockpot. Sweat garlic and leek for several minutes until tender, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to avoid browning. Strain stock into pot, then add thyme and bring to a boil. Throw in three-quarters of the nettles, all the peas and cavolo nero, then lower heat and maintain a steady boil for about 5 minutes until peas are tender. Add parsley leaves and spinach and the minute the pot returns to a boil, remove from stove and allow to cool to room temperature.
Ladle cooled soup into a blender, removing thyme stalks as you go, then add sorrel and mint and blend for several minutes.
Pass through a fine sieve or the fine blade of a mouli, then season well.
Reheat soup by bringing to the boil with saved nettles leaves, then serve. If you like you can fry leaves in a little olive oil until crisp, then scatter over the soup before serving.