Among the excellent vegan options in Croatia last month was a delicious vegan cream of kohlrabi soup that I tried at a restaurant in Sibenik. It was a pretty unassuming looking dish but was delicious, fresh and flavorful!
After a bit of research and experimentation I realized that the restaurant in Croatia made their vegan “cream of” soup by simply blending in olive oil and a little bit of waxy potato. So, this kohlrabi soup is dead easy and made with super simple ingredients! Winning.
Not familiar with kohlrabi? It’s a stalwart of my yearly CSA subscription and we’ve really grown to love this veggie. The texture is quite similar to jicama or perhaps a nice crisp apple; but the flavor is like a milder, juicier broccoli. You can eat it either raw or cooked. I love it in spring rolls or collard wraps; added to tomato-based curries; or simply cut into bite-sized pieces for a fresh raw snack.
I go through phases where I just cannot be bothered to get out our proper blender, and for those phases, you can immersion blend this or use the food processor. However, for the best silky smooth result (i.e. if you were having dinner guests, perhaps), you’ll want to use your Vitamix or the like. You can also eat it chunky style with no blending implement at all, although obviously it won’t really be creamy! But still delish.
The kohlrabi in our CSA usually comes with greens and so to accompany my kohlrabi stew, I roasted the greens like kale chips. Just chop and wash them, dry them completely, give them a very light coating of olive oil and salt, and bake at 350 Fahrenheit until crispy.
In the photos the cream of kohlrabi soup is garnished with the crispy greens, but this isn’t actually a practical idea, because the crispiness disappears pretty quickly in the presence of the steam from the hot soup. So I recommend keeping them separate unless you’re taking photos 😉
Cream of Kohlrabi Soup
Cream of kohlrabi soup, with no cream needed! This simple soup gets its flavor and creamy richness from olive oil and potatoes. Serve with crispy kohlrabi greens and nothing goes to waste!
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow or white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 oz Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cubed (or other waxy potatoes)
- 16 oz kohlrabi peeled and cubed
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- fresh herbs (optional, for serving)
In a stockpot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook with occasional stirring until the onion is softened but not browning, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook for another 60 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the cubed potatoes and kohlrabi, stirring to combine, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the kohlrabi and potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth; or transfer to a blender or food processor and puree in batches. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and olive oil; serve warm.
KOHLRABI GREENS: Wash the greens well and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Dry the greens very well, toss them with a very light coating of olive oil, salt them, and bake them on a baking sheet until crisp and lightly browned, about 6-10 minutes (timing will vary).
POTATO TYPE: If you know you'll be using a high-speed blender and want the creamiest possible texture, I actually recommend Russet potatoes over a waxier kind. However, if you are NOT using a high-speed blender then Yukons are likely to yield the best results; Russets can get kind of strange and grainy when blended at too low of a speed.
Inspired by Dishing up the Dirt among others.