After a cold spring, you would think the Children’s Garden at Campos would have a bonanza radish crop, but for some reason, they didn’t do well (a bed full of garlic planted last fall may have sapped some of the fertility, who knows?). We’ll plant again in the fall, once these beauties, at right, are fully grown, and we’ve snipped very garlic scape, pulled very bulb, made pesto, ate every garlic green.
But it wasn’t a complete loss. The greens to the radishes were lush, beautiful and productive. Most people think of the red jewels under the ground as the edible part of the plant. But not only are the radish greens edible, they are the most nutritious part! Radish greens are a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, vitamin A, C, K and other nutrients. You can eat them raw, mixed with other greens in a salad, or put them in smoothies. But here’s a recipe for a wonderful and delicious way to use your radish greens is to put them in a hot or cold soup using onions (or leeks) and potatoes, resulting in a fresh, spring green-flecked Vichyssoise-style soup that will make you feel good about using what we usually throw in the compost bin.
Radish Green and Potato Vichyssoise
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion (or 1 leek, white and pale green parts only), cut into ½ inch dice
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
3 large bunches (about 4 cups) radish greens, washed and coarsely chopped
4-6 cups chicken stock or water
Juice of 1/2 lemon or more, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt, plus more for garnish
6 radishes, julienned
¼ cup chives, finely chopped
- Melt butter in large saucepan over moderate heat. Add onion or leek and potatoes and cook for about six minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add radish greens, cook about 2 minutes to soften and then add chicken stock or water, increase heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Using a blender, immersion blender or food mill, puree soup until smooth. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Add plain Greek yogurt and stir well to combine. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally until chilled, at least an hour. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with a dollop of yogurt, radishes and chives and serve cold.