Kohlrabi Soup with Coconut and Lemon is rich, creamy and will soothe your soul. If you're feeling under the weather, it'll pick you up -- and if you're feeling great, it'll simply be an incredibly delicious, cozy bowl of soup you will love.
If you’ve been following Cooking On The Weekends for a while, you know that I've attended dozens of media events at Melissa’s Produce over the years.
From cookbook authors and restaurant chefs, to produce experts and food stylists, it has kept me current in our always changing food world.
I especially look forward to an annual presentation about produce trends in the new year.
A few years ago it was the Shishito pepper. And the same year, "color in produce" was another trend.
For the last couple of years Kohlrabi has held a strong position in the top ten list of trending produce.
I’m sharing this vegetable through a luscious, rich and creamy Kohlrabi Soup.
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, bok 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.
When is it in season?
- Kohlrabi can usually be found year-round, but it especially shines during the winter months.
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 Kohlrabi Soup
- For the soup, the kohlrabi is simmered and then puréed.
- 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 pairing 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.
- This soup is even better the next day, so it's a great one to make ahead of time.
The next time you see kohlrabi in the market, I hope you grab a few and try this lovely Kohlrabi Soup with Coconut and Lemon.
Coconut Kohlrabi Lemon Soup
- olive oil for the pans and garnish
- 2¾ pounds Kohlrabi (about 5 cups once chopped)
- 1 cup onion roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic roughly chopped, roots removed
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 3½ cups vegetable stock
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme washed and died
- 3 bay leaves
- 1¼ cups coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Prep the kohlrabi. 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 ½ 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.
- Cook onions, garlic and some of the kohlrabi. 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 dice), to the pot and stir to blend. Mixing often, saute for about 7 minutes.
- Add wine, lemon juice, stock and herbs and cook. 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.
- Make the garnish. 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.
- Blend. Remove the bay leaves! Then 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.)
- Add coconut milk and seasonings. 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. Serve each portion of the soup with a few pieces of the small diced, sautéed kohlrabi on top with a drizzle of olive oil.
OMG this looks fantastic. I can't wait to try it. I have been researching kohlrabi recipes and so happy to find this one. Looking forward to your future kohirabi posts.
Thanks so much, Cathy! It's also SO yummy roasted -- all of the sweetness comes out! XO
Oh I love kohlrabi! I roast it in the oven with just a little olive oil and sea salt and eat it as is. I think it would be spectacular in soup though, so I am down to try this soup right away!
Thanks so much, Jeni. I also roasted some, similar to how you described the way you do it. I'm posting it soon, because it was so simple and SO tasty -- so sweet! 🙂
I make an apple and raw kohlrabi salad that my family enjoys, but have yet to try in cooked. Winter storms on the way means soup at my house, a perfect time to try something new with kohlrabi!
Thank you Deb. I bet your salad is fantastic. It actually reminds me of a crisp apple (minus some of the sweetness), when it's raw. What a great combination that must be.
When I was in college in the 70s, we used slices of kohlrabi as a vehicle for dips. I have not had it cooked, though, and am now curious about this side of the vegetable. The soup sounds fantastic, Valentina!
Thanks, David! So funny, I've mostly eaten them cooked, now I'll be experimenting with them raw! (After my next post, that is.) 😉
I love the sound of this, kohrabi is really popular and not uncommon to find here in central Europe. I've never paired it with coconut though, looking forward to trying this.
Thanks for checking out his recipe, Brian. Hope you're able to find kohlrabi where you live, and that you love it as much as we do. 🙂
I’m a huge fan of Kohlrabi … but I seem to always make it the same way. I tried this recipe tonight and it was a huge hit! So creamy and so bright with the addition of the lemon. I’ll make this again and again!
Thank you, Tracy! I'm so happy you loved the soup and that it was a hit. I really love the lemon in it and I'm glad you do too. Enjoy and cheers! ~Valentina
Do you think this soup would freeze well?!
Hi Stephanie. My apologies for not responding sooner. I've been on vacation. While I haven't tested freezing this recipe, I do think you could do it. I wouldn't do it for longer than 3 weeks or so, and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. Thanks for visiting my site and checking out the recipes. 🙂 ~Valentina
Turned out great. I added gumbo shrimp to it.
Thanks so much, Michelle. The addition of the shrimp sounds excellent. Great idea! I will have to try that next time. Thanks also for visiting Cooking On The Weekends and checking out my recipes. 🙂 ~Valentina
Just made it and loved it! Had doubts about adding coconut to the kohlrabi, but it turned out to be a great combination. Plus the lemon, just yum. Thanks for sharing.
Best wishes from Germany
Hello Anne in Germany! Thanks so much for writing in, and I'm so happy visited my site and that you enjoyed this soup. You made my day. 🙂 ~Valentina
I just love getting entirely new ideas !!! I love the taste of kohlrabi and, when in Europe, have ordered it often. I have seen it occasionally in our supermarkets but not oft enough to keep a plethora of recipes in place. But I just love yours, am trying to taste it reading about it here . . . and next stop will be trying to get the ingredients together !!! Am attempting to use less coconut because of the fat, but this reads 'special' !
Hi Eha! Thank you for this lovely note -- I love that it seems like a special recipe. You made my day. I hope you can try it sometime soon. I've seen little "baby" Kohlrabi also, which a great (and cute) for a smaller amount. 🙂 ~Valentina
John / Kitchen Riffs
I don't use kohlrabi nearly often enough. This looks delightful -- and we're looking at some frigid weather the next couple of days, so perfect for me at the moment. Thanks!
I love soup season! I hope this one warms you up in the cold weather. Thanks for visiting, John. 🙂 ~Valentina
We enjoyed the soup. You might want to edit the recipe to correct the error in “cooking time,” which you’ve listed as only 10 minutes. The cook time is much longer than that.
Hi Meredith, Not sure how that one slipped through the cracks, but I really appreciate you pointing it out. Editing it now. 🙂 And so happy you liked the recipe! Thank you for visiting the site and trying it. Warmly, Valentina