the first soup i ever made was a butternut squash number with apples, onions, and heavy cream (!) (waaay before i stopped eating dairy). when my co-worker made it and brought in for us to have, it was super creamy and velvety - i basically told her that i wanted her to come home with me and make this for dinner every night. she politely declined and gave me the recipe instead. i had decided to make this soup for frank when we were first dating, i thought i would impress the hell outta him with this super-duper restaurant-worthy soup. back then, i lived by myself in a studio apartment, my kitchen although small, was quite functional with everything i thought i needed. i prepared the ingredients according to the directions, followed step-by-step, and finally, the soup was ready to be pureed. however, as i surveyed my kitchen it came to my attention that i didn't own a blender, nor did i own a food processor (and i didn't even know what an immersion blender was at that time). a few rather loud screams and some toddler-esque feet-stomping occurred at that moment, but i sucked it up and continued on with what i did have, a mini food processor - one that held about 1 cup of liquid at a time. as i stood there in my almost counter-less kitchen running batch after batch of butternut squash mixture through the tiniest of machines, i began realizing that the consistency was a bit thick, as my mini processor didn't accomplish a polished puree. i ended up serving the mushy, baby food soup to frank anyway. i can still remember his face as he ate the "soup", it basically looked like, 'wtf am i eating' but with a smile. while it was tasty, it wasn't one of my finest culinary moments.
since that time, i'm sure you'll be happy to know that i've acquired appropriate kitchen instruments, ones that can handle things like soup! and because of my awesome in-laws, i've graduated to a 12-cup food processor! all joking aside, i really love soup. especially during these weeks where it feels like we're between seasons -70-degree temps one day, in the 40's the next. and these days, after emerging from the cave of winter, market greens are all i want to eat and cook with. my mom had given me the cutest bundle of radishes back in march that she bought from the Stone Barns greenhouse. with them, i made a 2-serving radish top soup and absolutely loved the bitter/peppery taste it had. i've been waiting (totally impatiently!) these past few weeks for radishes to show up at the market, and this past weekend they did! i also picked up a bunch of spring garlic thinking their subtle flavor would pair really nicely with the greens. i toasted up some cumin seeds, crushed them, and added it to the mix to break up all the earthiness going on here as well. so, stop throwing away the greens on top of your veggies and go make this soup!
i want to thank any of you who voted for me for Saveur's Best Food Blog Awards, being nominated was so beyond anything i could have ever dreamed of, especially when i was in the company of SO many women i look up to and am inspired by each day! so, the biggest of congratulations to the lovely winners: Jeanine from Love & Lemons, Stephanie from i am a food blog, Sarah from The Vanilla Bean Blog, Izzy from Top With Cinnamon, Beth from Local Milk, Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme, Ashlae from Oh, Ladycakes, Sarah from My New Roots, Laura from The First Mess and Valentina from Hortus Cuisine! you ladies rock! xo
this season's first soup: spring garlic + radish top soup (v + gf)
inspired by Deborah Madison, Vegetable Literacy
| serves 4 |
if you can't find/don't want to use radish greens, a good replacement could be dandelion greens, mustard greens or arugula - or a mixture of these that totals the amount i indicate below. additionally, if you can't find spring garlic, regular garlic will totally work, just reduce the amount to 2 small cloves worth. i added millet here just for more substance and weight - feel free to add quinoa, rice or any other grain you like.
- 2 bunches radish top greens (approx. 2.5 ounces), washed and stems trimmed
- 1 bunch spring garlic, white parts chopped in half-inch pieces (alternatively, 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped), reserve green parts for garnish
- 1 medium waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into quarters, about 1/4-inch thick
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- fine grain sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups filtered water or vegetable stock
- cooked millet
- fresh squeezed lemon juice
- radish sprouts
- sliced garlic greens
- radishes, sliced thin
- heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. add the onion slices and lay them flat; sprinkle garlic evenly over onion, then lay potato slices over them. cook for about 3 minutes without disturbing while the pan heats up. add the crushed cumin and give it all a good stir. cover, and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring the vegetables every so often (the bottom of the pan should start acquiring a brown glaze - this is good!). in the last few minutes, add the wine and let about half of it cook off. next, add water (or stock) and 1 1/2-2 teaspoons salt, bring to a boil - scraping the bottom to loosen the glaze. lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender and falling apart - 15-20 minutes
- add radish tops to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes - until wilted and dark green. let soup cool. then transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and puree
- divide the soup evenly, and garnish with cooked millet, radish sprouts, garlic greens, sliced radishes and a squeeze of lemon juice