Friday, June 14, 2013

Radish Leaf Soup

I suppose we all have preconceived notions about food and cooking.  Things that we've been doing or thinking for ever without much thought as to why, usually not even realizing that we may be missing out on something.  This week, I discovered one of mine.  When radishes were included in previous shares, I'd just cut off and discard the leaves without much thought, assuming they were not useful for cooking. This week it occurred to me that I might be wrong about that and saved them separately from the radishes.  A little searching uncovered a variety of uses for the greens, many involving soups.  Even though hot soup is not something one normally thinks about in June, this week has been unusually cool and rainy, making a pot of soup seem like a good idea.

The recipe below is pieced together from several recipes I found online. There is a lot of variation possible here, so you should experiment with other ingredients.  The common item in almost all the recipes I found to include with the radish leaves were potatoes, but everything else could be changed.  The result was quite good; a dominating potato flavor accented with a "green" taste from the radish leaves.  Using sliced radish as a garnish added a nice peppery crunch, and we found ourselves adding more halfway through the bowl.

Share contents used:
All the radish leaves plus a couple radishes

2 tbs butter
4 cups fresh radish leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
1 cup onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced for garnish

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often until soft.  Add the radish leaves and continue stirring until the leaves are wilted.  Mix in the potatoes then add the broth.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Using a blender, puree the soup until smooth then return to the pot (or use a stick blender in the pot if you have one).  Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with a few thinly sliced radishes floated on top as a garnish.

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