My Kohlrabi Coconut Soup – or how I finally got Rich to like kohlrabi.
I love kohlrabi for several reasons. First, it reminds me of my childhood. We regularly ate kohlrabi bulbs both raw and cooked. Second, I like its slightly spicy taste. And last, it reminds me of how my friend in Istanbul tried to find kohlrabi after her son was born. – In Germany it is a typical kid’s food. She eventually found one stall on her local farmers’ market that extra brought it into the city for her.
Well, and then I moved from (almost) kohlrabi free Istanbul to also kohlrabi free Boston. Only when we moved to New York City did I finally find my beloved vegetable again. It is sometimes sold in local supermarkets like Fairway and on farmers’ markets. I learned only after I had bought and cooked it that Rich had never encountered kohlrabi. Our current farmers’ market sells kohlrabi every week and I find it rather cheap. But I have also heard people asking the vendors what those purple and green bulbs actually were. So I guess the demand for kohlrabi is not super high around here.
Rich had actually never even heard of kohlrabi until I came along. While I happily processed the little kohlrabi bulbs [like here or here], he admitted only very recently that he did not enjoy the taste at all. I guess it is a flavor you need to get used to – and I have eaten kohlrabi ever since I started to eat solid foods. Rich instead is lacking many many years of the culinary kohlrabi experience. Funnily enough though, his parents this year sowed and harvested kohlrabi for the first time ever. That was also probably thanks to my influence because I browsed their gardening catalogs in spring and suggested this vegetable.
Obviously I found myself in a dilemma: I wanted to continue eating kohlrabi without making alternative dishes for Rich. So I had to make him get accustomed to the taste. Eventually I thought of making soups. Particularly pureed soups can contain so many ingredients that kohlrabi wouldn’t be as dominant. Even though my kohlrabi coconut soup contains a lot of kohlrabi, it is also made of potatoes and carrots. They definitely reduce the kohlrabi flavor. As do, of course, the different spices and the coconut milk.
In the end the soup tastes rather Asian than Central European. But Rich really liked it and that was the goal. Also, I can still taste the kohlrabi which makes it a win-win situation for both of us. And I am sure in about 5 to 10 years Rich won’t even remember a time anymore when he had not yet acquired a taste for kohlrabi.
To make the kohlrabi coconut soup i.a.:
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Recipe: Vegan Kohlrabi Coconut Soup
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cm fresh ginger
- 900 g kohlrabi
- 300 g potatoes
- 100 g carrots
- 600 ml vegetable broth
- 500 ml coconut milk
- white pepper
- fresh coriander cilantro
- red pepper flakes
- Dice the onion, the garlic cloves and the piece of ginger.
- Heat up the olive oil in a big pot.
- Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Peal the kohlrabi and cut it into medium chunks.
- Cut the potatoes and carrots into medium chunks.
- Add them to the pot and sauté shortly.
- Pour the broth and the coconut milk on the vegetables.
- Bring everything to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until all vegetables are cooked.
- Purée the soup.
- Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, nutmeg.
- When serving, sprinkle fresh coriander leaves and red pepper flakes on each soup bowl.