What is Kohlrabi? Through making this delicious, creamy Coconut Lemon Kohlrabi Soup, we’ll learn all about this unique and tasty vegetable that’s gaining in popularity. And you see just how delicious recipes with Kohlrabi can be! If you’ve been following Cooking On The Weekends for a while, you know that I often attend media events at Melissa’s Produce. From cookbook authors and restaurant chefs, to produce experts and food stylists, it has all greatly enhanced my culinary education. And it’s kept me current in our always changing food world.
I especially look forward to an annual presentation about produce trends in the new year. I began last year with a hot 2017 trend, the Shishito pepper. And this year I’m starting with Kohlrabi, which is predicted to be one of the top ten specialty vegetables of 2018.
I’m introducing it through a luscious, rich and creamy Coconut Kohlrabi Lemon Soup. I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of recipes with Kohlrabi, and can’t wait to share them all with you.
The is a delicious and versatile vegetable — but, you might wonder what it is if you haven’t seen or cooked with it before. So let’s break it down.
What is Kohlrabi?
- Kohlrabi is a Cruciferous vegetable. Also included in this family of vegetables are cabbage, turnip, cauliflower, boy choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, horseradish and kale.
- The name Kohlrabi comes from a combination of cabbage and turnip in German and Latin, respectively. “Kohl” means cabbage in German, and the word “rapa” means turnip in Latin.
- Though it might look like it, Kohlrabi is not a root vegetable — the bulb grows above the ground — and is actually an enlarged portion of its stem.
- You can find green and purple Kohlrabi.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked and should be peeled before use.
What does kohlrabi taste like?
Many describe the flavor of Kohlrabi to be similar to broccoli stems — I think it tastes more like a mild cabbage when cooked, and almost like a very crisp apple, without the same level of sweetness, when raw.
I love Kohlrabi roasted at a high temperature or sautéed — these methods will bring out a lot of sweetness from caramelizing. It can also be steamed or fried.
About this Delicious Coconut Lemon Kohlrabi Soup
- I really love kohlrabi simmered and then puréed in this Coconut Kohlrabi Lemon Soup. This is a vegan recipe and yet it’s still incredibly rich and creamy!
- Fresh lemon and coconut are fabulous together. They’re a natural paring with the Kohlrabi, which can easily take on some of the other flavors, while still holding its own.
- The soup has a mild cabbage flavor with a bit of tartness from the lemon. The coconut milk balances everything together perfectly.
- The fresh herbs and touch of nutmeg warm it up, making it a very comforting bowl of soup.
The next time you see Kohlrabi in the market, I hope you grab a few and try this lovely Coconut Kohlrabi Lemon Soup.
Tip: This soup is even better the next day, so it’s a great one to make ahead of time.
A delicious vegan soup that's full of fresh flavors, and is as creamy as can be, without cream!
- olive oil for the pans and garnish
- 2 3/4 pounds Kohlrabi (about 5 cups once chopped)
- 1 cup onion roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic roughly chopped, roots removed
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme washed and died
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the stems off the Kohlrabi and the peel them — either with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife. (You can save the stems for another use, like making vegetable stock.) About 1/2-inch should be cut off each end, and then roughly chop them into approximately 1-inch cubes. These do not have to be pretty as they well be puréed later — the important thing is that all be about the same size, so they cook evenly. Remove about 1 cup of the chopped Kohlrabi and cut into a smaller dice. Set both aside, separately.
Coat the bottom of a large pot (approximately 4 quart), with olive oil and place it over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Then add the roughly chopped Kohlrabi (not the smaller diced), to the pot and stir to blend. Mixing often, saute for about 7 minutes.
Add the wine, lemon juice, vegetable stock, thyme sprigs and bay leaves to the pot, and stir to blend. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then, cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and let it simmer until the Kohlrabi is soft, about 40 minutes.
While the soup in simmering, coat the bottom of a small sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the small diced Kohlrabi and stirring often, cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Carefully pour the contents of the pot into a powerful blender and blend it’s completely smooth, about 10 seconds. (Times will vary, depending on how powerful the blender is.)
Pour the now puréed soup back into the pot and add the coconut milk, sugar and nutmeg. Stir to blend and then season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here’s how.)
Serve each portion of the soup with a few pieces of the small diced, sautéed Kohlrabi on top with a drizzle of olive oil.
This recipe serves about 8 as an appetizer, and 4 as a main course soup.