1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Trim the green tops from the radishes; rinse the tops well, discarding any that are discolored or wilted. Blanch in a saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, about 30 seconds. Drain; transfer to a bowl full of ice water to stop the cooking. Squeeze dry; chop coarsely. Reserve 2 tablespoons to make the oil.
2. Quarter all but 4 of the radishes. Coarsely grind the quartered radishes, most of the blanched tops, garlic and green onions in a food processor.
3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl or pitcher; add the buttermilk and sour cream. Stir well to combine. Season aggressively with salt and white pepper. Chill for a couple of hours.
4. Meanwhile, blend the reserved 2 tablespoons blanched radish tops with the olive oil until smooth; strain it through cheesecloth into a bowl. Do not press or squeeze the solids or the results will be cloudy.
5. To serve, taste and adjust seasoning for salt and pepper. Thinly slice the remaining radishes. Divide the soup among 6 chilled bowls. Float the sliced radishes on top; drizzle with a little of the green oil.
Per serving: 280 calories, 25 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 9 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 744 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.
Cucumber and yogurt soup with barley
Prep: 10 minutes
Cool and chill: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
1 cup pearl barley
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 pound small cucumbers
4 cups yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons finely diced, seeded jalapeno pepper
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped mint
3 tablespoons chopped dill
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1.Toast the barley in a dry saucepan over medium heat until it smells browned. Remove the pan from the heat to avoid spattering; add the water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain; cool to room temperature.
2. If the cucumbers have been waxed, peel them. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape the centers with a spoon to remove the seeds. Grate cucumbers into a large bowl; add the garlic, jalapeno, red onion, 2 teaspoons mint and 2 tablespoons dill. Add the yogurt and cooked barley; season aggressively with salt. Chill for a couple of hours.
3. To serve, add just enough milk to thin to the consistency of heavy cream. (The cucumber will release some liquid, and the barley will absorb some, so the amount might vary.) Add salt to taste, if needed. Divide the soup among 6 chilled soup bowls. Top with the remaining mint, dill, a sprinkling of chopped walnuts and a dash of paprika.
Per serving: 323 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 45 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 142 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.