Chilled Radish Soup 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Weeknight Vegetarian May 14, 2014

Tangy buttermilk and rich walnuts tame the peppery flavor of raw red radishes, which give this refreshing soup a purple-pink hue (although you can use radishes of other colors).

Although the soup makes a lovely first course for a casual dinner, you could also set out smaller servings in shot glasses for an elegant outdoor-party appetizer.

Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. The garnishes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; the sliced radishes should be stored in water to prevent discoloration.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 4 cups

  • 8 ounces red radishes, scrubbed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups buttermilk, preferably low-fat
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves and pieces (may substitute pecans)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for the potato cooking water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 mini Persian cucumber, sliced thin


Place all but 1/4 cup of the radish slices in a blender with the buttermilk, walnuts, vinegar, the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the sugar; puree until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled.

While the soup is chilling, cover the potatoes with salted water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the water is barely bubbling; cook until the potatoes are fork-tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Run under cold water, peel and cut into 1/2-inch chunks.

Place the eggs in a separate saucepan. Cover with cool water and bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 12 minutes. Crack the eggs, transfer them to a bowl of ice water and let them stand for 10 minutes (to make peeling easier). Drain the eggs, then peel them and slice into thin rounds.

To serve, divide the soup among chilled bowls. Garnish with the potato, egg, red onion, cucumber and the reserved radish slices.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook," by Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge (Rodale, 2014).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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