The Famous Netflix Soup
After our show, Taste of the Country, was released, one of the most asked about recipes has been – do you have the recipe for Kohlrabi soup? Finally, after a couple of years, here it is.
Kohlrabi is in the wild cabbage family, it is called a German turnip although it is not a turnip. Literally, the word for cabbage in German is kohl and rube is turnip. It’s in the same camp as cauliflower, broccoli, napa cabbage. The way you might make a cauliflower soup, is the same as making a soup from kohlrabi.
There’s history here!
In full disclosure, I disliked this vegetable growing up and my mother insisted on making it regularly. She would slice it, steam it or sauté with butter and maybe make a béchamel sauce with it. No matter, it had a taste that I never liked. I think I didn’t appreciate the almost “delicate flavour” when I was young.
Then I moved to Germany while Carlyle was a baby and my mom’s friend, Hannelore came to visit. She made me and Carlyle kohlrabi because of the nutritional value of kohlrabi – it is very high in vitamin C among other things. In fact, it has more vitamin C than an orange. She peeled the outer skin, sliced it about ¼ inch thick, and steamed it with a very small amount of water and about one tablespoon of butter, covered the pan and let it very gently steam away for about 10 minutes. I don’t know if it was the quality of the vegetable in Germany versus what my mom picked up at the store in Vermont but I found that the taste was delicious, delicate and so subtle.
For Carlyle since she was only 1, she mashed it up a bit and we ate ours just like we would broccoli or carrots.
During Netflix filming…
When we were filming one of the episodes of the show about a fall menu, I thought that using kohlrabi would be perfect. We also used it in salad raw and at home, I make it sometimes as a side dish.
Our neighboring farmer, Jessica from Lunar Rhythms had a lot that year. Hers were giant and gnarly and usually in a market or grocery store, you find them about the size of baseballs, light green in colour and with stems that look like the broccoli leaves. Hers were about the size of bocce balls and the skin had cracked a bit but no matter, they still made good soup and the flavour was still delicate and lovely. I visited Jessica this past weekend to pick up a basket of cellared vegetables from her winter storage and found a few kohlrabi.
Perfect. Time to make and share the soup recipe I wrote a blog about in 2017.
The Famous Recipe
Here it is. It’s so simple, I hate to reveal it.
This recipe will make about 2 liters of soup – enough for 4-6 servings.
I used 3 medium size kohlrabi for this recipe – if buying them in the store, they will be smaller so use about 4. You should have about 4 cups diced.
1 large onion sliced
2 stalks celery chopped
1 medium size potato peeled and cut into cubes
6-8 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 cup milk or cream optional (subtract from the broth if using milk/cream)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Peel the skin off the kohlrabi and cut into cubes about 1 inch in size. In a medium-size heavy soup pot, over medium heat, heat the fats. When hot, sauté the onion until it is soft – do not brown. About 2 minutes. Add the celery, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper to taste and stir. Sauté another 2 minutes. Add the kohlrabi and potatoes and the broth to cover. Don’t add too much liquid, it’s easier to think the soup out than thicken later. Cover and let simmer over medium to low heat for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Let cool slightly and with an immersion blender or a Vitamix, blend until smooth. Do not over blend or the mixture may become globby. Return to the pot and add more liquid if necessary. Adjust for seasoning.
For serving – I grate fresh nutmeg over top. The soup has a very subtle flavour and is receptive to many toppings: fresh chopped herbs, crumbled bacon, garlic croutons. I serve mine plain.