Nettle, Wild Garlic & Pea Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Cornbread

    Serves 3-4


    • 1 large brown onion (or 2 small) finely diced
    • 1 small carrot finely diced
    • 1 rib of celery finely diced
    • 100g of nettle, washed with stems removed
    • 120g of frozen peas
    • A fistful of wild garlic (approx. 25 leaves), washed & roughly chopped
    • 1 large potato, skin-on and diced into 2cm cubes
    • 1 litre of hot vegetable stock
    • 1 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
    • 2 fresh bay leaves
    • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
    • Chestnut mushrooms – as many as you like – sliced in half if average or quarters if large
    • Proper salt & black pepper
    • And a drizzle of toasted sesame oil


    1. Put on your cooking playlist. Use this one if you wish –

    2. Start cooking by getting your stock organised; add the stalks from the parsley and the bay leaves and keep hot. Then gently fry the onion, carrot and celery in your soup pan with ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil (low-medium heat). Pop the lid on to help the veg sweat.

    3. Once the onions have turned translucent, remove the parsley stalks and bay leaves from the stock then carefully pour in to the pan, add the potato and simmer until the potato is tender (approximately 15 mins).

    4. Add the peas then after 3 minutes pop in the nettles and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drop in the wild garlic and blitz with a stick blender. Season to taste.

    5. Set your sauté pan on a high heat. Once hot, add a glug vegetable oil (basically enough to coat the amount mushrooms you’re cooking) and get those bad boys in before your oil starts smoking. Keep them moving and cook until your get some lovely, golden colour on the edges of the mushrooms. Set aside.

    6. Get serving with a couple of chunky slices of your cornbread (see below) add the mushrooms like they were dumplings, drizzle with sesame oil and shidaisy – time to eat.

    Roasted Red Pepper & Wild Garlic Cornbread

    9 Servings


    • 150g maize meal
    • 125g plain flour
    • 115g unsalted butter
    • 1 red pepper
    • 80g sweetcorn
    • 30g dark Muscovado sugar
    • 240ml buttermilk (room temperature)
    • 100g Caerphilly cheese
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 large egg
    • A fistful of wild garlic leaves (approx. 25), washed
    • A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
    • Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil
    • Decent salt & black pepper


    1. Get your music on and preheat a fan assisted oven to 200ºC.

    2. Slice the red pepper in half (lengthways) and remove the stalk and core. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, skin side up, season and drizzle with extra virgin rapeseed oil. Roast on the middle shelf for a good 30 mins or until the skin blackens and the flesh is tender. Pop a 30cm round skillet or casserole dish into the oven too.

    3. In the meantime, finely chop the whites of the wild garlic stems and slowly melt the butter in a pan. Once fully melted, gradually add and whisk in the buttermilk and sugar, set aside and stir in the chopped wild garlic and parsley.

    4. In a large mixing bowl mix the; maize meal, plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and a healthy pinch of salt together.

    5. Take the pepper out of the oven, put it in a bowl and cover then peel and thinly slice once cool. Thinly slice the wild garlic leaves into ribbons by stacking them on top of each other.

    6. In another mixing bowl whisk the egg and add the buttermilk mix, then gradually whisk the mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the grated cheese and wild garlic ribbons.

    7. Take your skillet/casserole dish out of the oven and melt a knob of better, swilling it around the pan. Pour in the batter then decorate the top with the roasted red pepper and sweetcorn as you see fit. Get it back in the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until a clean skewer comes out after poking the middle.

    8. Take out of the oven and cool in the skillet/casserole dish for 10 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack for another 20 minutes. Eat straight away or store in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep for a week.