Piquant radish soup with cream and without potato

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October 2013 035Radish soup sounds for lots of people like something was eaten by the have-nots in the 19th century. This thought crossed my mind in my kitchen halfway through making this Piquant Radish Soup with Crème Fraîche on the top!

When I’ve found this recipe in a French magazin I immediately realized that there’s nothing particularly unusual in this radish soup: radish, some onion and horseradish, plus the cream and crème fraiche for garnish. Then they’re cooked briefly in butter, covered water and simmered before being pureed in the food processor. Though there was one unusual thing which drew my attention: the matter of the color! However I usually try not to judge a dish just by the way it looks, but rather than turning out a lovely shade of pink. But yes you are right the color was a bit weird! Like my pink tutu when I was a ballet dancer! But inspite of this fact my family wasn’t horrify of it and ate the soup with ravenous appetite!

And what about the theory of eating the radish in cold? It has proved false this time. I don’t know why but I felt that eating the radish just in cold sounded a bit sad. Like something your grandparents had to eat kohlrabi during the depression! Still, I was eager to try the recipe because for me radish soup seemed like just the kind of unique and on the top of that radishes are plentiful with nearly every vendor at the farmers market here in Münich. And though I’ve already roasted radishes and used them all varieties of salads, I haven’t tried them yet in liquid form. So it was high time! And what did make this soup really delicious, it was the mirin-Japanese vinegar!

Ingredients, serves for 6

1 lb. radishes, halved (3 cups)
1 medium white onion chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
⅛ tsp. white pepper
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons crème fraîche, plus more for garnish, optional

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

200 ml cream, 3 tablespoons of mirin or rice vinegar or white wine


1. Clean and shred radishes. Chop onion. Place into a bowl and flavour with salt and pepper and pour over 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir it well.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and radishes and cook for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Flavour with white pepper and pour over 3 and 1/2 cups (750 ml) water or bouillon. Add mirin or white wine to it. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes.

4. Remove soup from heat, stir in horseradish, and purée in food processor in batches until smooth. Add cream, and purée until combined. Season with salt if desired. Serve garnished with radish, greens, and crème fraîche (if using).

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