Wild spring herb soup recipe

Many know green nettle soup. This is another option to obtain the power of spring herbs with the meal.

“Green soup” recipe

It is a traditional soup in Tirol and is prepared and eaten on fasting days and especially on a Thursday before Easter - Maundy Thursday.

It is believed that herbs give strength. Spring has power of bringing nature back to life after winter. Spring herbs would have the power of bringing our bodies back to active life. 

Ingredients: 2 big handfuls of 9 wild herbs: dandelion leaves, dead nettle tops, ribwort plantain, yarrow leaves, nettle shoots, chickweed, daisy leaves, lesser celandine leaves, sorrel leaves.... whatever you find ... ramsons, young lime tree, birch tree leaves, ground elder...and some flowers for decoration: daisy, coltsfoot, dandelion...

 150 g of home made bread, 50 g butter, 1 onion, 1,5 Liter clear soup or broth, 2-3 spoons of cream, salt, pepper, 1 spoon of butter, 1 spoon of chopped chives.

Preparation: Cut bread into cubes, fry 2/3 of cut bread in a pot in butter with chopped onion. Add clear soup or broth. Cook well and blend, add salt and pepper. Then add the finely chopped herbs and cream. Mix well or blend again. 

Make croutons from the rest of bread: fry bread in butter and add chopped chives.

Serve decorated with croutons and blossoms of herbs.

Enjoy 😊


  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Sounds wonderful, and I will definitely be trying it this coming week! (Even though I missed Maundy Thursday,,,.but then again, since it's not Lent anymore, maybe no harm in tossing in a bit of ham.....😉)

    @jolanta.wittib do you know if there is a special significance to the recipe calling for nine different plants? That is very interesting; the number nine often has special significance in old Germanic traditions and folklore--the Old English Nine Herbs Charm, for example. Anyway, it's a great recipe, and thanks for posting!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,349 admin

    @MaryRowe thank you for this question about 7 and 9. There are, of course, many explanations, but for me the shortest and for me the clearest is: they are symbols of religion - 9 is pagan and 7 is Christian or catholic. Number 9 was much used in old folklore, old stories and rituals in most Central and Nordic countries of Europe before Christianity was introduced. There are many herbalists who consciously or unconsciously follow these pagan traditions. I am one of them. My God is nature. I use 9 herbs. But, I am sure, the soup would be as delicious with 7 or 8 or 10.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @jolanta.wittib Thanks, I follow the old path too, which is why the number nine caught my eye. I am not nearly as far along in my herbal studies as I'd like to be, but I'm working on it, and I believe the old pre-christian traditions are the best guide. Our elder folk knew the natural world intimately, and even if the reason for a given practice is not immediately apparent to us, we usually discover it as we follow the practice over time.

    And today I am trying your soup recipe--I have some good patches of stinging nettle, purple nettle, chickweed, wild onions and violets ready for picking. May have to search a bit for four more herbs, but I'm sure they are out there--the right herb will usually show up for you if you ask--so I'm heading out to look for them!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,349 admin

    @MaryRowe I fully agree with you. Yesterday I watched a good programme on ARTE about different ways of spiritual life in different countries and different religions. There are many movements where people would look for spiritual fulfilment in nature. I think that we, herbalists, are on the right way.

    Enjoy the soup! I include spring herbs in my meals every day in form of salad, soup, spices, herbal teas. The first ones after winter are the strongest.