An engaging photo of a four-year-old French boy eating an open-faced radish sandwich has lingered in my memory for many years. The photo by Mark Kauffman (©1968 Time, Inc) in the Time Life Book The Cooking of Provincial France introduced me to eating radishes, as the French deliciously do, with butter and salt. These days I usually savor their crisp, sharp flavor plain or tossed into salads. So I was especially intrigued with a recipe for Radish Soup from Chef Annie Somerville of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.
The simplicity of Radish Soup along with its rosy hue, velvety texture and piquant flavor captures the essence of spring. And, only three main ingredients form its foundation. Finely chopped radishes and potato join sautéed onions and water for 30 minutes of cooking. After a quick whirl in the blender with a little horseradish, you create an unexpectedly tasty, beautiful and healthy soup.
A cruciferous vegetable?
I had no idea. Radishes belong to the same family of vegetables as nutrient-dense broccoli, cauliflower, watercress and twenty-two other vegetables. As such, radishes share the same amazing array of nutrients and health benefits.
BTW, the horseradish added when blending Radish Soup? Yes, it too is a cruciferous vegetable.
- Roasted Radishes with Umeboshi Vinegar & Radish Greens
- Fennel, Apple, Jicama, Radish Slaw
- Green Salad with Spring Vegetables & Herbs
Find this pungent condiment in the refrigerated deli case of most grocery stores. I first learned of horseradish at my aunt’s holiday table. Then it was served as a spicy accompaniment to gefilte fish. Another common use for horseradish is as the “kicker” ingredient in cocktail sauce. However you use it, remember that a little horseradish goes a long way.
When you next see me, ask me about Flannigan and Sullivan. I’ll happily share with you their humorous adventure with horseradish. 😉
Thank you, Annie Somerville, for this gluten-free soup recipe which I have lightly adapted.
- Three main ingredients—radishes, a potato and an onion—make this piquant, velvety smooth and beautifully rosy pink soup.
- The addition of a tablespoon of prepared horseradish adds a welcome bit of pungency.
- You’ll find prepared horseradish in the refrigerated deli case at most grocery stores.
- The deeper red your radishes, the deeper the rosy hue of your Radish Soup.
Makes 6 ½ cups, 4-6 servings Printer-Friendly Recipe
Start to Finish 40 minutes
1 medium white or yellow onion (7-8 ounces), peeled, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon butter
3 bunches radishes, washed
1 medium russet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt
6 twists freshly ground white or black pepper
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened, whole yogurt, plus more for garnishing
- Place the chunks of onion in a food processor. Use the pulse button to coarsely chop it.
- Place a soup pan over medium heat. Heat the butter. When melted, stir in the chopped the onion. Cook covered for about 7 minutes, or until translucent.
- Meanwhile remove the greens from the radishes. Set the freshest greens aside for garnishing the soup. Halve the radishes.
- Place the radishes and the chunks of potato in the food processor. Use the pulse button to finely chop them.
- Add the radish/potato mixture to the cooked onions. Stir in the salt, pepper and 3 ½ cups of water. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
- Depending upon the size of your blender, puree the soup in 1-3 batches along with the prepared horseradish and 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Return the soup to the pot. To avoid curdling the yogurt, keep the soup warm over the lowest heat possible. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
- Thinly slice some of the radish greens for garnish.
- Serve either hot or cold. Top Radish Soup with a dollop of yogurt and a garnish of radish greens. And perhaps with an edible pansy as well.