We always keep rotating the same set of vegetables for our meals. I keep seeing this stout green tuber at our grocer, but mostly walk past it without a second glance. But not this time. I was on a mission to make my family eat some kohlrabi. It is similar to a turnip and shares the flavor profile of cabbage, brussels sprouts and the like. Kohlrabi (or noolkol in Tamil) is a bit bland on its own. Like a turnip or potato, kohlrabi takes on flavorings quite well and so it can be cooked in any way you wish.
I initially thought of a lovely coconut masala curry with mixed vegetables, but it didn’t happen. Instead I decided to pair it with some mushrooms and make a lovely creamy soup. Truth be told, I just wanted an excuse to use a lovely set of soup tureens the hubby got me. Spanking new stoneware in SIX different colors. Nothing excites me more than new bowls!
The recipe is a simple one, based on the traditional cream-of-anything soup. Basically, you start by melting some butter and sweat some onions and garlic in it. Then you stir in a little flour, a whole lot of broth/stock and a bunch of vegetables. When the vegetables are nice and tender, it is blended and finished off with a touch of cream or milk. I fried up some mushroom slices in butter to garnish the soup. I also sprinkled some dried oregano and fresh cilantro (what a juxtaposition of flavors!).
Well, you get the idea, don’t you? It is such a basic soup recipe, you can improvise it any way you like. And remember, this a cream soup recipe, so I wouldn’t advise on foregoing the butter. You can get away with using milk instead of cream, but please use butter. It adds a lovely heartiness and flavor to the soup.
I roasted the kohlrabi in the oven while I started on cooking the onion and garlic. This is entirely optional and you can cook the vegetables directly in the soup pot. I felt that by roasting, I could get a head start on cooking the kohlrabi and it would intensify the flavors as well.
Speaking of flavor, like I mentioned earlier, consider kohlrabi as a blank canvas. You can treat it like you would either potato or turnip. It is kind of like a turnip, with a firm potato-like texture, but definitely not as starchy.
The cream soup base is a good basic recipe to have on hand. I have seen many recipes use canned cream soup to make another cream soup! That is totally unnecessary. With just a few pantry essentials, you can make a hearty cream soup base and use your favorite vegetable or protein in it. Think cream of mushroom, potato, broccoli, chicken and so on.
CREAMY KOHLRABI AND MUSHROOM SOUP
You will need:
- Kohlrabi – 2 large ones, peeled and roughly chopped
- Butter – 3 tbsp
- Onion – 1 medium-sized, roughly chopped
- Garlic – 2-3 pods, crushed
- Mushrooms – 1/2 lb, roughly chopped
- Flour – 3 tbsp
- Vegetable or chicken stock – 5 cups
- Cream or milk – 1/4 cup
- Salt – to taste
- Cracked black pepper – to taste
- Dried oregano and fresh cilantro leaves – to garnish, optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F and line a baking tray with foil. Arrange the kohlrabi in a single layer and roast in the oven, for 30 minutes or till the soup base is ready.
- In a large deep pan, melt the butter. Thinly slice a couple of mushrooms, fry them in the butter till golden, remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
- Now add the onions, garlic and rest of the mushrooms. Saute on low heat for 5-10 minutes till onions are translucent and aromatic. They must not brown.
- Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir to coat the onions and mushrooms. Keep stirring and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the chicken or vegetable stock now and increase the heat to bring to a gentle boil.
- Meanwhile, remove kohlrabi from oven. They will be cooked but firm. Add them to the hot stock, season with salt, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes till the kohlrabi pieces are fully cooked and tender.
- Cool the soup slightly and use a blender or immersion blender to puree it. Return this to the pan, thin with more stock or water if needed, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the cream/milk. Do not boil after cream/milk is added.
- Ladle soup in to individual soup bowls, garnish with fried mushrooms, cracked black pepper and your favorite herbs. Serve hot or warm along with a thick slice of crusty bread.
- Instead of roasting the kohlrabi, you can cook it directly in the stock. But roasting it while you prep the soup base will save time. It also adds a nice flavor to the soup.
- Replace kohlarbi and mushrooms with your favorite winter vegetables or even cooked and shredded chicken.
Lightly butter and toast some thick slices of bread and enjoy with a warm bowl of homemade creamy soup!
Do you like soup? Have you tried kohlrabi?
Do try this lovely cream soup recipe this fall/winter. Use kohlrabi or your favorite vegetable and stay cozy!
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
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- By Stephanie Lynn