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Cheese Scones & Nettle Soup, served with Homemade Cider or Apple Juice

Nettles are a free, rich source of iron and other nutrients whilst cheese scones are sustaining as well as quick and easy to make. These, served with your own homemade cider or apple juice, make a sumptuous yet inexpensive meal.

Granny Leonora’s Cheese Scones

Ingredients

  • 12oz / 340g self-raising flour
  • 6oz / 170g tasty, grated cheddar cheese
  • 6oz / 170g butter
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • A little soured milk or plain yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan or Italian hard cheese
  • ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper or mustard powder – both of these are optional.

Method

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour.
  3. Stir a little soured milk into the beaten the egg and lightly stir into the dry ingredients to bind them into a soft dough.
  4. Lightly roll or pat out on a floured table – Granny Leonora said “I do it with my hands just pressing down lightly – saves washing up!”
  5. Cut into rounds, squares or triangles, place on a greased baking tray.
  6. Bake in a hot oven Gas Reg:7 / 425˚F / 220˚ C for a very short time – about 10 –12 minutes.
  7. Cool for a while on a wire rack but eat as soon as possible when they are deliciously fresh and warm.

The scones can be frozen & defrosted, they taste almost as good as when they are first baked. Serve alone with butter or to accompany a tasty soup such as leek, nettle, spinach or watercress.

Spring Nettle Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 medium – large diced floury potatoes
  • 1lb / 500g nettle tips (spinach or watercress could be used as an alternative)
  • 2oz / 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
  • Light chicken or vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon – the grated rind of the lemon can be used as a garnish
  • ¼ tsp of mace or nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • A little cream to garnish if desired.

Method 1. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from nettle stings and using scissors, snip the growing tips off young nettles. Rinse and drain the nettles. 2. Melt the butter & oil in a large soup pan and gently cook the chopped onions and garlic until translucent. 3. Add the diced potatoes, stir to coat with the butter and cook for 5 minutes over a low heat. Stir to prevent the vegetables from sticking. 4. Add the nettles and cover the pan. 5. When the nettles have wilted, pour in the stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). 6. Purée until smooth using a liquidiser or hand-held blender and return the soup to the pan. 7. Add the lemon juice and nutmeg or mace; adjust the consistency with water and season to taste. 8. Gently heat the soup taking care that it does not boil. 9. Serve into warmed bowls and garnish, if desired, with a drizzle of cream or thin strips of lemon rind.

Serve the soup with freshly baked cheese scones and a glass of home made cider or apple juice – delicious!

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