How to turn radish tops into a delicious soup – recipe | Soup

It’s an oldie but goodie, and it’s adapted from a recipe in my first book The Natural Cook, published 10 years ago. It uses the whole radish, including the green leaves, and with zero waste.

Radish greens are one of my favorite green roots. They are still very spicy raw but, when dressed or cooked, they soften and a fresh cucumber flavor is felt. They are delicious in a leaf salad alongside other leaves generously dressed with a mustard vinaigrette or simply with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. They’re also delicious lightly wilted with extra virgin olive oil and crushed garlic to serve in place of (or mixed with) other leafy greens like spinach or kale.

I used brown rice to thicken this soup, rather than my usual potatoes. This gives the soup a nice, light and silky texture.

Radish leaf soup with caraway

This vibrant soup is a light and refreshing dish that uses the whole radish, but it can also be made with the radish tops alone, if you’ve already eaten the roots. If possible, save a radish or two to grate on top to finish, both for crunch and to add a spark of bright red. A drop of butter at the end makes the soup a little richer and more decadent; the cream is good too. The soup will keep for five days in the refrigerator, although it will lose some of its bright green color.

Serves 4

1 onionpeeled
3 cloves of garlicpeeled
1 small zucchini
1 stalk of celery
The green top of 1 leek
1 large sprig of mint
leaves picked, stem reserved
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds

50g brown rice
100g radish
(or an extra zucchini, roughly chopped), plus 2 extra radishes to grate to finish
150 g radish leavesand/or watercress
1 knob of butter
to finish, or a drizzle of cream (optional)

Coarsely chop the onion, garlic, zucchini, celery, leek leaves and mint sprig. Put the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add all the chopped vegetables and caraway seeds and fry, stirring occasionally, for five to 10 minutes to soften.

Add 700ml of water and the brown rice to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender. Add the radishes, radish tops and mint leaves, return to the boil then remove from the heat.

Blend the soup until smooth, season to taste and serve with optional grated radish and a splash of butter or cream.

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