To tell you the truth, there is a root vegetable that I have never really liked – up until I turned 100% vegan. The vegetable is the radish. It is a root vegetable that I believe many people do not even think about much since it is not commonly eaten outside of the salad plate. At least that is what I have found in our area of the world. It is a great vegetable to add to just about any dish and it can be eaten in many forms. There are different varieties available in the world but in our area the red slightly peppery type called “red castle” or “cherry belle” is easily found because it yields high amounts all year around. Hence it can be found for a very low price all year around. We generally purchase a few bunches when we visit Michigan because we can find the radishes with the leaves still attached. In Ohio grocery stores it is very hard to find fresh radish leaves still attached because they are very delicate and/or can be purchased separately for an extra cost.
If you are able to find radishes with the leaves still attached during the winter months, I highly suggest making a warming liquid soup for the family. These little red radishes are not only festive for the holiday season but also are high in ascorbic acid, folic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. When raw the flavor is slightly peppery but when cooked they take a milder flavor with a rich after tone. In this recipe I prefer to have the red bulb radish instead of another variety such as the Daikon (Japanese radish) or French Black radish but you can use whatever you have in your kitchen.
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 c radish greens, coarsely chopped
½ c radishes, quartered or coarsely chopped (optional)
¼ c raw radishes, finely chopped (optional)
2 cups vegan vegetable broth
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Toss all the ingredients except the raw radishes and parsley in a pot on high on the stove. Cover with a lid.
2. Boil the soup for about 5 minutes or until a fork will go through the radishes easily.
3. Place the boiled mixture into a blender and give it a whirl until smooth. You can also have it slightly chunky if that’s how you like it.
4. Place the smooth soup into the pot once again and turn on med-high to warm the soup once again. Top with the parsley and raw radish pieces.
Note: This is a great side dish but does not have enough calories to be considered a full meal.