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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food Ninja: A Soup Recipe with a Secret, Frugal Ingredient--Radish Leaves!

Last week I heard about a contest that fellow food bloggers Paula at Bell'Alimento, Linda at SaltySeattle and Rachael at La Fuji Mama are hosting: Food Ninja. When I first read about it, I thought, "That looks like so much fun, but I am totally not a 'Food Ninja'." I admit that I am a good cook and I admit that I can chop and dice with the best of them (or faster than my husband, at least!), but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I do that is so ninja-like in the kitchen...until, that is, I remembered this recipe I made up for radish leaf soup.

A couple of weeks ago, I received some beautiful radishes from my CSA, but really what caught my attention were the leaves attached to said radishes. They were full and green and, well, leafy. That got me thinking about whether or not radish leaves are in fact edible. A quick Google search answered that question, so I was on a mission to use these awesome leaves. I posted something on Facebook to elicit ideas, but the basic reaction was, "Are you kidding?!" No. No, I am not.

To save money and to be as ecologically conscious as possible, I have been trying to use as much of my produce from my CSA as possible over the summer, and usually the "inedible" parts go into a freezer bag for later stock making, but I actually wanted to eat these greens, so I came up with this easy little recipe for radish leaf soup. The soup is actually quite tasty--the leaves have a mild peppery taste--and to top it all off, radish leaves are quite nutritious, with high levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, and Vitamins A, C, and K. As I told my mom recently: don't knock it till you try it!

Just call me Frugal Ninja! ;-)

Radish Leaf Soup

1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bunch radish leaves, rinsed well and chopped
2 1/2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Creme Fraiche or heavy cream
3-4 radishes, diced, for garnish

In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add potatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add radish leaves and cook, stirring, until leaves begin to wilt. Cover with stock and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Blend with a handheld blender or in small batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the lemon juice, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Before serving add a dollop of creme fraiche or a little heavy cream to taste. Garnish with diced radishes.

This is a thick soup. Add more stock to thin it to your liking.

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Fuji Ninja October 13, 2010 at 6:52 PM  

You DEFINITELY are a Food Ninja! This is awesome, especially since I'm now DYING to try and cook with radish leaves!!

Rachel October 13, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

Wow! Finally something to do with the leafy parts! I thought I had lettuce in the fridge the other day but when I looked closer I was disappointed to find radish leaves. Next time I won't be so disappointed!

Chef Fresco October 28, 2010 at 9:23 PM  

Man this reminds me that we really need to join a CSA. Radish leaves huh? Looks great!

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