I always make nettle soup at least once in spring.  The nettle, like other plants credited with being a good spring tonic, has long roots that bring up minerals that may have been washed out of soil nearer the surface.  I get my gloves on, find some young nettle shoots somewhere I am sure they have not been sprayed with weedkiller or polluted and get picking.  My soup this year was all green and white -spring onions (scallions), garlic, leek, a little florence fennel, courgette (not very seasonal but it was there) and a few early chives.  I used some ground almonds to thicken it, left over from Christmas.  Other times I’d make a simpler, more nettly soup with a pint jug of nettles, some onion and a little oatmeal to thicken.  Vegetarian or chicken stock, the choice is yours.

A few winter pounds have shifted, I am delighted to say.  Five less than the January high.  My sister and I have got second hand copies of a couple of GL books recently and she is glad that her son (primary school age) is happy to eat beans in stews and other forms.  I like chickpeas myself – as hoummous and whole in salads and hot dishes.  Butter beans too I find very palatable in winter dishes.  There are so many more – aduki, black-eye, mung, cannelini – that adding a few in the course of the week is not dull.  I’m not a great fan of the bean, but it is very good for lowering the glycaemic load and keeping blood sugar levels steady. 

I sowed some salad in my vegetable bed and harvested a few leaves of lamb’s lettuce.  A few young dandelion leaves will find their way into my salads, before they become too bitter.  People have been known to blanch them (keep them tender by putting an upside-down pot over the top to deprive them of light) but I just get them in season and then move on to other things.