Spring has finally arrived with sunny days and windy afternoons, quickly blowing away any memory of the high rainfall we have had this past winter. But hand in hand with all this glorious sunshine are all the dreaded spring weeds.
They have popped up all over our gardens, jostling for position in-between our flowers and veg. I saw a cute saying the other day: “Weeds – If you can’t beat them, eat them!” Many weeds are in fact edible, but please identify correctly before attempting any weedy snacks as there are also many poisonous ones out there!
Two good ones to start with would be Marogo, our local Lamb’s quarters – family of the Amaranth – and Nettle – the very spiky weed we love to hate. Well hate Nettles no more, as they are a mega nutrient high superfood! Its best to wear gloves when picking them and if you put them in a bowl and pour hot water over them, the stinging properties go away, leaving you to handle them freely.
Marogo comes in many different varieties, ranging from red through to dark green. You get a small grained, big leafed variety whose leaves you can use like spinach or a big grained, small leaf variety whose seeds can be used as a grain. I would like to share my Spring Greens soup recipe with you which include both of these weeds:
Spring Greens soup
1 tbs olive oil
2 onions with their greens, chopped
2 tbs chopped wild garlic leaves
2 cups of chopped spinach
2 cups of chopped nettles
2 cups of chopped marogo leaves
a handful of white rice, amaranth or quinoa
1 litre of veg stock
Salt and pepper
Plain yoghurt or cream to drizzle over each bowl
Cook the onions and garlic over a medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the rice, stir, cover with a lid and turn the heat down and cook for about 15 mins. Add the stock and the greens and cook for a further 15 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and drizzle the yoghurt or cream over each and garnish with a sprig of herbs.