Hungarian Kohlrabi Soup (Kalarabeleves)

>> Sunday, January 09, 2011

Kohlrabi - a vegetable I bet most of you have never heard of, let alone eaten. It first started with me when I was reading my always-reliable vegetable cookbook - Greene on Greens. One of the chapters is dedicated to kohlrabi, which I skipped because I've never heard of it.

Then one day, I was shopping at my local farm when I spotted some kohlrabi for sale. I have a habit of buying new things and figuring out what to do with them later. Remembering the chapter I skipped, I grabbed a bunch and made them for dinner.

That was probably a few years. I really don't remember what I made with it. Probably just sauted some in a pan with seasoning. Fast forward to last month, I was down in Pittsburgh's Strip District for the first time. Being a foodie, I was in love (and overwhelmed!) with all of the stores. My main reason for going was to check out Penzey's Spices, where I spent $25 in spices that I've never used (or even heard of). One of the stores was this produce place. I'm sure it had a name but never saw a sign anywhere inside. That's when I spotted the kohlrabi. All I could remember was I enjoyed eating it, so I bought another bunch.

Kohlrabi translates into "cabbage turnip," which is the best way to describe this vegetable. Eating it raw reminds me of a radish without such a strong bite. And although it looks rather blah, it turns into a yummy dish. I was going to just saute it as a side when I opened my book and found a soup recipe. Not only are the bulbs edible, so are the leaves, and this soup incorporated both.

The soup originally called for boned-in chicken to be cooked in the broth, but I wasn't feeling it. Plus I had a sweet potato ready to go rotten, so I added that instead. I also omitted the bacon because I was afraid it would overpower the kohlrabi. To prepare kohlrabi, you break off all the stems until all you have left is a sad, green bulb. Then you peel the bulb until you see its flesh.

Hungarian Kohlrabi Soup (Kalarabeleves)

1 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or veg broth to make it vegetarian)
1 cup water
1 pound kohlrabi with leaves
1 sweet potato
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. Saute the onion in large skillet with 1 Tbsp butter for 1 minute. Add garlic and carrots. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and continue to cook covered for 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a big saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, boil a small pan of water. Trim, peel, and dice the kohlrabi. Peel and dice the sweet potato. Wash the kohlrabi leaves then boil for 1 minute. Drain, cool, and chop. Set aside.

3. Once the broth is pureed, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, water, kohlrabi, and sweet potato. Cook until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.

4. In a small saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in some hot soup. Whisk mixture together then pour back into the rest of the soup. Cook until slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Serves 6-8.

Source: Greene on Greens, page 213


farida 7:24 AM  

Delicious soup and the great blog


curriculum vitae 11:34 AM  

the soup looks so good - will try to make it this weekend - any tips?

Ida 4:43 AM  

OH! You remember the christmas dinner I told you about?
The orange mush to the left is mashed kohlrabi. I don't remember if I told you or not, so I'm telling you again. <3

Heidi 9:43 PM  

Hi, I just came across your wonderful blog. Being from Germany I know Kohlrabi and I love eating it, raw and cooked...I am looking forward to your future postings...Greetings from cold and snowy Indiana...Have a great weekend!...Heidi

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