2 litres water
25g butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
500g young nettles
250g crème fraîche
a knob of fresh horseradish (about 100g), finely grated
lemon juice to taste
8 medium scallops (no corals)

  1. Put the water in a large pan, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Put the butter into a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. 
  3. Blanch the nettles very briefly, about 30 seconds, in the boiling water, then lift out and add to the pan containing the onions along with 500ml of the nettle cooking water, which should be strongly nettled flavoured even after the brief blanching. Take the pan straight off the heat.
  4. Whiz in a blender, adding a little more of the nettle water to loosen it up if necessary. It should be a bright green and still a little lumpy – as this is a rustic soup!
  5. Season and return to the hob to heat through. Mix the crème  fraîche and horseradish and whisk until creamy. Season with a little salt and lemon juice. Keep on one side.
  6. With a sharp knife, slice the scallops thinly. Ladle the oup into the bowls and arrange a ring of scallops on top. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. The salt will start to cure the scallops from the top, as the sojp cooks them from underneath. Spoon a small dollop of the crème fraîche into the centre of the ring of scallops and serve immediately.

When we serve this in the restaurant, people always love it. It's an easy recipe which turns into quite a talking point, because there is something amazing about the textures and the way the slices of raw scallop cook as you eat the soup. I do hope you'll enjoy. - RC