Sheila Kirwin’s Nettle & Leek Soup served with Homemade Brown Bread

Featured on Episode 3 of Tastes Like Home with Catherine Fulvio on RTÉ One


Serves 4



For the soup

2 tbsp olive oil

1 knob of butter

1 onion

3 leeks

1 potato large (preferably ‘Golden Wonder’ but any will do)

750ml vegetable stock

2 handfuls of freshly cut nettle tops

Pepper to taste


For the brown bread

250g strong white flour

half a tsp salt

half a tsp baking powder

1 tsp bread soda

250g Hearts Delight wheaten meal flour

2 handful wheat bran

1 handful wheat germ

1 handful oat bran

1 handful pinhead oatmeal

450ml buttermilk




For the soup

  1. Steep the nettles in salted water and then chop the leeks, potato and onions.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and knob of butter in saucepan.
  3. Add chopped onion, potato & leeks.
  4. Sweat over low heat covered with grease proof paper for 8 to10 mins, stirring frequently adding a little water if vegetables become dry.
  5. When vegetables are well sweated add 750 ml vegetable stock.
  6. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 mins.
  7. Add washed nettle tops and cook for a further 5 to7 mins until nettles are soft.
  8. Liquidize and serve adding pepper to taste.


For the brown bread

  1. Mix white flour, wheaten meal flour, salt, bread soda, baking powder together and sieve well into bowl.
  2. Add wheat bran, wheat germ, oat bran, pinhead oatmeal and mix well together lifting up to incorporate air to mixture.
  3. Make a well in centre and add most of buttermilk, approx 450 ml mixing by hand.
  4. Work quickly and form into round loaf shape.
  5. Place on heated baking tray.
  6. Place a cross on loaf and cook in preheated oven at Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F) for 40 mins.
  7. Loaf will be hollow in sound when tapped.
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