This is a light, low-calorie soup composed of hearty storage vegetables. Have it for lunch with bread on the side, or as a light supper. A small ladleful of this kohlrabi soup could also make a not-too-filling start to a dinner with guests. Serve in shallow, light-colored bowls so the individual ingredients are well-displayed. Vegetable stock, or a stock made from beef, chicken or pork, can substitute for the water to further enrich this recipe. But because the soup does make its own broth, stock is not necessary. If you like your soup spicy, add a squirt or two of Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce. This healthy vegetable soup tastes best with fresh ginger, but you may substitute 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger if needed. Yield: 4 servings as a main dish, 6 as an appetizer.
Kohlrabi Soup Recipe with Asian Flavors
• 1/2 pound peeling kohlrabi, preferably less than 3 inches in diameter
• 2 medium carrots, scrubbed but not peeled
• 1 small rib celery
• 1 medium yellow or white onion
• 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
• 4 kohlrabi leaves, preferably no bigger than your hand
• 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
• 1/4 cup cream sherry or other fortified sweet wine
• 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
• 2 large cloves garlic, grated or pressed
• Salt to taste
1. Cut the kohlrabi into matchsticks, about 1 inch long, to make 1-1⁄2 cups. Cut the carrots the same way to make 1 cup. Chop the celery into small cubes to make 1/4 cup. Peel the onion, cut in quarters, and slice thinly to make about 1 cup. Pour the sesame oil into a large skillet and add all the vegetables. Cover and sweat them over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring, as the vegetables begin to caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Remove and discard the ribs from the kohlrabi greens. Slice the greens into narrow ribbons. In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a simmer. Add the tamari, sherry, ginger, garlic and vegetables, including the kohlrabi greens. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for salt, and ladle the kohlrabi soup into individual bowls, mounding the vegetables slightly in the center. Serve hot.
For more unique ideas on how you can use kohlrabi as an ingredient in light supper dishes, check out these tips and recipes: How to Grow and Cook Kohlrabi and Rosemary.
Barbara Damrosch cooks kohlrabi and tends rosemary with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at Four Season Farm in Maine. She’s the author of The Garden Primer and, with Coleman, The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.