Radish leaf soup

Easter egg radishes, just harvested

Image via Wikipedia

Radishes are fun to eat: you can nibble them as starters while you’re waiting for the real meal to cook, or just add them to a mixed salad to hide the fact the rest of it came out of a supermarket ready-mix pack. Visiting parents do appreciate this sort of attention from their hungover student offspring. The only problem with fresh veg is that the peelings and unused leaves need to be thrown away, and we all know how hard it is to remember to take the garbage out. Waiting until it takes itself down to the midden usually isn’t practical, so a better idea is to reduce the amount of trash to be discarded in the first place. Once you’ve separated the radishes from the leaves, why bother to throw the leaves away? They make a great soup.

This traditional soup is quick and easy to make. Even a hungover student can manage it. And it’s cheap. The sort of recipe, in fact, that causes the culinarily naive to look up to you with admiration, as it can be whipped up at a moment’s notice and tastes as if you’ve been studying cheffing for years.

Radish leaf soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Light, delicious, and healthy: a perfect starter to a meal on a warm day.


  • A generous handful of fresh radish leaves. Rinse them in clean water and discard any damaged ones.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large potato (use a floury variety of the sort that’s good for stews or baked potatoes)
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt a large knob of butter or warm the oil in a large saucepan, add the finely chopped onion and sweat until translucent. Sweat the onion. That means you heat it gently so that it cooks slowly in the fat, without browning or going crisp.
  2. Peel and dice the potato, and it add to the pan. Continue to sweat the vegetables until the potato starts to become translucent, then add the radish leaves and enough water to cover.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste, turn the heat up slightly.
  4. When everything is cooked (about 5-10 minutes) allow to cool enough to put through a blender. Or use a handheld liquidiser; it’s even better since you don’t even have to take the stuff out of the saucepan. Add more water if necessary.
  5. Reheat gently and serve with a smug smile. Guaranteed success.


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