Radishes: An Attempt

This past week, I’ve been nervously eying my garden, knowing full well the radishes were becoming bitter and need to be picked. But then what? Slice them and toss them with a salad?  Done that a million times. Braise them? Pickle them? Sautee them?

I’ve been doing a lot with Asian flavors lately, so I looked to France. I searched for a French-inspired idea that included the pink-red bulb as well as the greens. The greens are a little frightening, I must say. They almost need to be handled with gloves. The prickles hurt! They’re incredible nutritious though, full of iron. I hate tossing them out every year.

So, last night I tried radish greens soup.

It started with promise. I picked the last of the radishes, about 10 in all, and started chopping. I put the  greens in a pot with melted butter. They cooked down beautifully. I added the potato and broth. It soon became clear the recipe didn’t call for enough liquid. I added a half cup more. And then another quarter cup.

I put the mixture through the food mill, using the medium-sized holes. Then I added the mixture of mustard and creme fraiche. The result tasted more like mashed potatoes than soup.

I tell myself these things are bound to happen. Not everything attempted produces “you-must-try-this!” results.  Hopefully this will be the only lackluster attempt this summer.

Does anyone have a good radish recipe? Anyone?

Radish Greens Soup
adapted from The New Making of a Cook, via Saveur

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or unsaturated oil of your choice
3 cups chopped radish greens
4 cups water, chicken or vegetable broth (I added another cup)
2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
12 red radishes, sliced l/8 inch thick (I used 10)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Pepper from the mill
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup sour cream of your choice
Grated Gruyere-type cheese or crumbled ripe goat cheese (optional)

Heat the butter or oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Toss the radish greens for 1 minute in the hot butter. Cover with the water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer until the soup tastes good, 20 to 30 minutes. Strain through a food mill.

Meanwhile, place the radish slices and vinegar in a small pot, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, simmer 3 to 4 minutes, and drain. Add the slices of radishes to the strained soup. In a small bowl, mix the mustard with the chosen sour cream. Mix two ladlesful of the soup into this mixture, then whisk that mixture back into the bulk of the soup. Correct the final seasoning and serve immediately, with bread on the side and cheese passed in a bowl.

Serves 6


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