It’s harvest day!
And I couldn’t be more excited about the season’s first bounty, my Aka Karaine hybrid radish from Kitazawa Seed Company.
A few things drew me to this Japanese radish when I first bought the seeds: the vibrant color, the spiciness of the radish, the fact that the entire plant (root and leaves) is edible, and it also stores for long periods of time in the fridge. I imagined slicing it into my salads and slaws, grating it into my ramen, pickling it for sandwiches. Yummmmm!
I have a special place in my heart for these radishes. They were the very first seeds I sowed upon moving into the new house, and every day I watched them grow like a proud mama; I even showed them off to visiting friends to point out that, yes, something was actually thriving under my care! The seedlings sprouted within days and have been going strong ever since September.
One of my first kitchen concoctions with the Aka Karaine harvest was potato and radish leaf soup. Enjoy the recipe below! (And by recipe, I say that very loosely; I am terrible at writing recipes since all my measurements and times are eyeballed and guesstimated. I also feel that cooking is very much subjective, so while I like to add extra garlic or onion to most of my recipes, I’m sure others could do without. That said, please modify this recipe to your liking!)
Potato and Radish Leaf Soup
Makes 1 hearty pot
1 large bunch radish leaves, torn into small pieces
A few potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
A few slices of bacon
Ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Heavy whipping cream (optional)
In a medium or large saucepan (depending on how much soup you want to make), fry the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon slices from pan and set aside, leaving enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Saute the garlic and onion until softened and the wonderful aroma fills your kitchen.
Add potatoes and coat all the slices with that fatty, garlicky, oniony goodness.
Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, then let the ingredients simmer until potatoes are soft.
Add radish leaves to the soup and let those simmer until wilted. Add ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
When all the ingredients are nicely infused and the flavor is just right, take an immersion blender and blend the soup to your desired consistency. For a richer taste, swirl in some heavy whipping cream.
Crumble the bacon slices and top the soup with bacon bits before serving!