Unusual because the main ingredient of this soup recipe is something that took me by surprise. I think I know a bit about French cuisine, or at least not to be taken by surprise by any recipe or ingredient. Yet, this simple and humble ingredient was a surprising change for last night’s dinner.
This recipe was shared to me by my mother in law, who is an excellent cook. Not only by my opinion but by those of many others. She follows the traditional french cooking, and it is always with some awe and deep interest that I observe her while she goes about her cooking or showing me her larder. French cuisine, as I found out, is ‘infatigable’ or in English, indefatigable, and both ways they are a mouthful. It’s really not easy to really know all about French cuisine, one can read books and books on it.
Ok, so the secret ingredient of this meal is…. Leaves ..of ..the… RADISH! A bit weird, and certainly uncommon, yet something that you can try it, since I have made it, and ate it, and found it delicious in a homely sense! The taste isn’t spectacular, yet there is something distinct about it. For all the times I have bought radish, and I buy them frequently, they make a tasty appetiser with salted butter, I could have made so many soups, instead of binning away the leaves, which I have done always.
Here’s the recipe in French, with the ingredient translation below (sorry if the paper’s a bit crumpled, but it’s still readable):
1. Leaves taken from a bunch of radish, and to be washed carefully, and then roughly chopped.
2. A large potato, peeled and chopped roughly
3. 2 onions, peeled and chopped roughly.
4. 4 pieces of toasted bread.
5. One and half liter of water (I used vegetable stock instead, to give it added flavour)
6. Salt and pepper to taste, butter or margarine, whatever your preference.
First, place your onions and potato into a heated pan that will have the butter melted in it. Sautée it for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables seem to get soft. Add the leaves now. Stir them around for about 2-3 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if the quantity of the leaves seem lessened while cooking. It’s meant to do that. After this, you can add in your hot water, or stock. Check the seasonings, to make sure salt is OK, and if you need any pepper.
Now, I cover the pan and let it cook on a low-medium flame for 30 minutes. After that, I lift out the cover and add in the 4 pieces of toast which I have broken into bits. The toast dissolves very quick into the stock, and I take my blender and blend all the ingredients very well.
I check the seasonings again. Perfect. Now, I take my soup bowls, already preheated in the microwave, and pour in the soupy goodness. I garnish the soup with cream and form a heart shape, and sprinkle on top some pink peppercorns or ‘baie de roses’ as it is called in French. My husband is Crazy about the pink peppercorns. I served the soup along with a slice of tart that my MIL made using tuna, tomatoes and mustard.
Et voila! I hope you found the recipe interesting, and know what to do the next time you buy some radishes, and make sure nothing goes to waste! 🙂