Make Ahead

Radish Top Soup and Slow-Roasted Radish Roots with Fennel Seeds

September 19, 2013
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

One of the things that excites me the most is to take a humble vegetable—like a simple radish—and turn it into something exquisite. —Viviane Bauquet Farre

Test Kitchen Notes

This method of slow-roasting leaves the roots caramelized and soft—very soft, like Broccoli Cooked Forever soft. If you’d prefer the roots to still have some tooth to them, consider roasting them uncovered for only 20 to 25 minutes. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the radish-top soup:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 shallots, skinned, halved, and finely sliced (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, skinned and finely sliced
  • 8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups spring water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces radish tops without the tough stems (or 12 ounces mustard greens), leaves and tender stems cut in 1/2-inch strips (14 cups loosely packed)
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • lemon-infused oil as garnish
  • For the roasted radish roots:
  • 12 ounces watermelon radish roots (4 large), peeled and cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 12 ounces regular radish roots (14 large), unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1. To slow-roast the radish roots: Heat the oven to 425º F (218º C). Place the radishes in a heavy-bottomed nonstick roasting pan large enough to hold the slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with the fennel, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with the maple syrup and olive oil. Toss well, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes, until very tender, tossing once halfway through the cooking.
  2. Remove foil and toss vegetables carefully so as not to break them. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for 12 to 15 additional minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and serve with the soup.
  3. To make the soup: Put a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, shallots, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Stir well and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until softened, stirring from time to time. Add the potatoes, stock, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Add the radish leaves, stir well, and continue to boil until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Add the crème fraîche and purée the soup with an immersion blender or a food processor until silky smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and keep warm.
  5. Place a small mound of the roots on a plate. Ladle the soup in a small bowl and place next to the roots. Drizzle the infused oil on the soup and serve immediately.
  6. The soup will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator, or 1 month in the freezer.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • frecklywench
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2 Reviews

frecklywench May 7, 2017
I love the idea of using the radish tops in this way—I'm always trying to figure out what to do with them. The soup was thinner than I expected, and next time, I might try it with less liquid for more body. The flavor of the leaves is surprisingly mild after they've been cooked.
Baguette &. November 14, 2021
The recipe mentions infused oil but I didn’t see a step for making that or what the oil is infused with; what did I miss?