Recipe Revamps, Soups

Wild Japanese Knotweed and Berry Soup: A Colorful Bowl of Flavor

Japanese Knotweed (fallopia japonica) is an invasive plant that looks like asparagus, tastes like rhubarb, and will march across your property like an army. The most effective way to keep this plant from taking over is to eat it as fast as it grows.

When the tiny spears emerge in late March, the stalks are tender and delicious for about three weeks. After that they are woody and unpalatable. Like rhubarb, uncooked knotweed freezes beautifully, so harvest in abundance while you can and enjoy it all year round.

Recipes involving Japanese knotweed and rhubarb often call for sugar. Not this recipe. In fact, sugar would ruin it. The berries give this soup a beautiful color.

Serves 10-12 people

Foraged Ingredient:
4 cups Japanse knotweed, peeled  
1 cups apples, peeled and cored
1 cup pears, peeled and cored
4 cups berries, mixed or choose one kind of berry
1.5 cups raisins

1-2 Days Before:
Harvest flexible stalks that are about the size of asparagus                                                      
Peel the thin outer skin from each stalk and discard
Chop the stalks into half inch pieces, refrigerate until ready to use                                                             
1-2 Hours Before:
Peel and core apples and pears, cut into quarters
Put apples and pears into large soup pot                 
Add berries and knotweed pieces to soup pot
Cover ingredients with water                                                                                        
Bring water to a boil 
Reduce heat and simmer 
Serve hot immediately or chill and serve cold    

Shopping List:
*Note: it's fun to forage for wild fruit, but the soup is just as tasty when prepared with items sold in the market
Foraged Items:
Japanese knotweed
*Wild berries, like blueberries, mulberries, if you find them
*Wild apples/pears if you find them
Market Items:                                                                                                                                
Berries of your choice, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
Raisins – golden or dark
Knife for peeling and cutting knotweed and fruit
Soup pot