Something foraged, something grown

Jo has a very special garden (special to me), in that there are lots of things you can eat from it which as far as I’m concerned is the best thing  a garden can have. It’s also a very nice garden to hang out, it has some cosy corners and chairs.

I love Jo’s cooking philosophy (first and foremost I love that she has one); she tries to cook something everyday that is either grown or foraged by her. When I was invited over I thought I would be having a bowl of nettle soup but Jo turned it into a feast with friends and lots of food. What a great and inspiring idea! Too good to be ignored.

At the outset of this project I said there would be events as a follow-up of blog-posting where people will gather, share food and just have a good relaxing time together. It seems my words are taking very visible and physical shape. I intend to carry on with the feasting by finding interesting and forgotten spaces in Adamsdown and Splott for us to have pop-up dinners.



This last year I made a small challenge for myself – to eat something from the garden or foraged everyday. Somedays its just a few chives, or something out of the freezer, my aim is to grow all the greens I need to eat.
Nettle soup came to a whole new level when I discovered it all comes together on a different level with a parsnip or two.
This year I discovered our allotment is even bigger than we thought, so we went about clearing around the blackcurrant bushes and lots of nettles sprung up. I liked to pick them at the allotment as I can be sure there have been no chemical sprays.
I’ve lived in Adamsdown for 10 years, walking distance to the city but still have room for a garden of herbs, strawberries and little fruit trees I planted myself. I’ve been giving attention to having more of a sense of belonging here in Cardiff and having NINE friends around the house for soup, salad and some wonderful baked apples that Lara made was really special. I’d love Adamsdown to get a bit greener, I would like to give planters with flowers to the neighbours on my street, but I feel a bit shy, that might be my next challenge.

Parsnip and Nettle soup for 9

Several sprigs of thyme
Veggie stock. I use a big teaspoon of swiss vegetable bouillon and enough water to cover the veg.
2-3 leeks
1 onion
4 parsnips
2 potatoes
about 100g of nettles (wear a glove and pick only the top few leaves, it can all get a bit stringy if the nettles are too old)
pinch of salt and pepper
3-4 tbsp of cream (optional)

1.Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add and soften a chopped leek and onion

2. Add 4 chopped parsnips, 2 potatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer.

3. When all the veg has cooked add about a third to half a carrier bag of nettles.
4. Two minutes later whizz with a whizzer.
5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper
6. Once in the bowl add a little  cream if you like.

Jo’s foraged nettle soup

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