This is the ideal time of year to make use of hedgerow foods. The present shortages will challenge our skills in making food stretch further.

When going for your daily walk around our wonderful countryside, take a plastic bag and a pair of rubber gloves.

The nettles are just perfect for picking now. If you have potatoes and onions, you just need a pint of nettle leaves to make an unusual and delicious soup. 

Just pick the first three inches of the new nettles, and they will continue to grow for a second batch.

When you get home, wash the nettles in cold water and pick off the leaves at the base, until you have a measuring jug full.

Sweat an onion in a pan, add three medium peeled, chopped potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until nearly soft. Add the prepared nettles for the last five minutes of cooking. Blend until smooth, add a little milk and swirl in some sour cream to serve.

It might seem a little fiddly, but then in this lock down period, we have plenty of time, and the results are well worth the effort.

Stay safe, Rae.