Yard Soup

Don’t Toss Out Those Veggie Greens!

Having a garden pushes the recipe envelope, especially when it comes to the tops of veggies that often go onto the compost pile.

Birthday - 70thFellow cook-gardner, Lynn Warnicke, evolved this soup from an inspired recipe based on radish tops. Lynn loves the soup as created, but expanded it to exchange the greens, like watercress, arugula, or just about any green. Hey, what about cauliflower, and broccoli greens?!

The original recipe is titled Radish Top Soup, but Lynn coined a more garden-centric name, Yard Soup.

RECIPE: Serves 6 – 8

Also consider any variety of leaves, especially with a little bitter bite (see above)

  • olive oil, 1 TBS, or butter, [Lynn uses 1 TBS of each]
  • onion, 1 large, thin slices
  • russet potato, 1 LB, quartered, then thin slices
  • radish tops, 7-8 cups, (7-8 oz.), stemmed and chopped
  • salt, 2 tsp, plus more to taste, [potatoes depend on salt]
  • pepper, to taste
  • water, 6 cups, or stock, [adjust to yield a creamy texture]
  • lemon juice, 2-3 TBS

SERVE WITH: yogurt and thin slices of radish


I used purple potatoes from my garden


  1. Begin to heat the oil in a pot while adding the onions, then top with the potatoes without stirring them as the pot heats up.
  2. Stir the mixture and cover, lower heat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice until the onions are browned a bit.
  3. Add the water (or stock) and scrape pot bottom, then add the salt, cover and cook on low until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the veggie tops and continue to cook a few more minutes until tops are tender.
  5. Check for seasoning and add in the lemon juice.
  6. Purée or partially blend for a chunky style.
  7. Serve topped with yogurt and radish slices.


Original recipe by Deborah Madison



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