Radish Soup with Country Ham

Chef Matthew McClure of Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas shared this recipe that is prepared with a few of spring’s most flavorful vegetables. Radishes, leeks and shallots create a spicy soup that is balanced out with honey and a savory garnish of country ham. It’s incredibly simple to prepare and can be served either warm or chilled.


    • 1 pound radishes
    • 1/4 leek, rinsed free of dirt (white only)
    • 1 small shallot
    • unsalted butter
    • salt
    • 1/4 pound country ham, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 pound additional radishes, cleaned and diced
    • honey
    • sherry vinegar


    1. Clean, trim and quarter the radishes. Dice the shallots and leek.
    2. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, leek and radishes and sweat* until tender. Add water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until soft, approximately 15 minutes.
    3. Puree in a blender and strain through a fine mesh sieve if you like your soups smooth.
    4. Chill and season to taste with salt.
    5. Slice the country ham and fry or dry in a low oven until crispy.
    6. Crumble the ham or grind in a small food processor.
    7. Over medium low heat, sweat the diced radishes in a little more butter and local honey. Once the radishes are softened, season with a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar.
    8. To serve ladle the soup into a bowl or cup and top with a tablespoon of the honeyed radishes and a pinch of the dusted country ham.
    9. * To "sweat" the vegetables place them in the saucepan with the melted butter over a low heat. Cover the saucepan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and place a tight fitting lid on top. Unlike sauteing this allows the ingredients to cook in their juices and soften without browning.