I am regularly vexed by the frequent presence of radishes in my weekly CSA box. There are lovely French breakfast radishes, multicolored Easter radishes and slender white icicle radishes. All are delightfully fresh, with lively, peppery greens and I enjoy a few in salads, with bread and butter, etc. but more often than not, they sink to the bottom of the vegetable drawer until they are tossed and replaced by a fresher radish contingent.
The other day, I modified my usual recipe for turnip soup from Deborah Madison's Greens Cookbook and made this pretty radish and leek soup garnished with a juilenne of radish leaves and slivered fresh radishes:
I trimmed 3 bunches of radishes (reserving the greens from the freshest bunch for the garnish, along with 3 of the nicest looking radishes), soaked them in cool water, scrubbed them well with a brush to remove any dirt and halved the bigger ones. I had about 1.25 lbs after trimming. I also trimmed, washed and thinly sliced 2 leeks.
I melted 3 tablespoons of butter in a pot with 1/2 cup water. Added the leeks, radishes, a few branches of fresh thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. I stewed them, covered, over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, and then added a can of evaporated milk and about 2 cups of low fat milk. That gets heated gently and cooked until the radishes are completely tender.
I puréed the soup my Blendtec and seasoned with freshly ground pepper. At this point, the soup was tasty, but didn't look any different from other cream soups so I used a bit of cooked beet to add some color and garnished the bowls with finely chopped radish greens and fresh radish.
If I had 3 very fresh bunches of radishes (rather than one fresh, one week old and one even older), I might have followed the original turnip soup recipe, cooked the greens and added them to the soup, but I would have missed the contrast the fresh greens bring here.
No doubt the radishes that Liuzhou asked about in this thread are long gone and I'm sure this isn't the sort of dish one would choose for a few fresh radishes, but I thought I'd post this in a thread where others seeking radish recipes might find it. I know I'm looking forward to making it again when the radishes pile up in the vegetable drawer, particularly in cooler weather.