The vegetable garden at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge is now in its third year and as spring arrives the hard work starts to pay off.
One of the first plants to arrive is the glorious radish. The radish is the gardening equivalent of learning chop sticks on the piano. Easy to plant and with an almost instant reward. After only a few days young leaves appear and after two weeks the rose roots break the surface like sunburned bald heads.
Here in Burgundy the radish is almost solely eaten with an 'apero' of dry white wine. Dipped in sea salt and topped with a bit of sweet butter it is a total pleasure. This provides one of the first tastes of spring but it always pained me to throw the leaves into the compost.
Full of vitamins and with a subtle peppery taste the young leaves make a fine addition to any salad, but why not a soup? Here is a recipe for light radish leaf soup.
- 1 onion chopped
- 150g butter
- The leaves of 20 radishes
- 1 litre of water
- 1 litre whole milk
- 1 glass of vermouth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 russet potatoes, chopped
- Whole cream.
1. Add the butter and onion to a pan and cook on a low heat until the onion is translucent. Add a healthy pinch of salt and two pinches of ground white pepper.
2. Add the vermouth bring to a simmer and add the radish leaves. Cook until they are wilted.
3. Add the water and bring to another simmer. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes.
4.Add the contents to your blender and blend until silky smooth and a vibrant green colour. Tate and season accordingly.
5. Reheat in a saucepan before serving and garnish with whole cream and a few this slices of radish.
- Wine Pairing: Domaine Chevrot. Bourgogne-Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune 2012.
- Learn how to cook radish leaf soup on a Burgundy cooking course at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge.