Nettle and wild garlic soup with sea snails

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

12 or so sea snails or whelks (cooked, removed from the shell and trimmed)
2 leeks, trimmed, cut into rough 1cm rounds and washed
A couple of good knobs of butter
1tbsp flour
1.5litres vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of wild garlic leaves, washed and chopped
A handful of young nettle tops, washed

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the leek for 2-3 minutes to soften, stirring every so often. Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer on a medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Add about two-thirds of the nettles and wild garlic and simmer for another few minutes. Blend in a liquidiser until smooth then return to the pan. Add the rest of the wild garlic and nettles and simmer for a few more minutes, seasoning again if necessary. Slice the whelks, add to the soup and serve.