KOHLRABI SOUP - KARALÁBÉLEVES
This is a delicately flavoured soup that takes a short time to make, provided you have homemade chicken or pork stock and a little bit of precooked fine pasta, such as nokedli to add to the pot. My neighbourhood supermarket carries a type of dry spaetzle product that can cook right in the soup and will not make the soup cloudy with starch. However most commercial pastas release a lot of starch into the cooking liquid and you don’t want that in the soup. As it happened I had some leftover nokedli from the night before and I put half a cup of it into the soup.
Now vegetable soups can be delicious on their own, but for a dept of flavour a clear meat stock is preferable to water. Good stock does not come from a can, cardboard box, packet or a cube. Use those at your own peril. They could work with more robust flavourings, but for a delicately flavoured vegetable such as kohlrabi I would avoid using commercial stocks. If you don’t have homemade stock your kohlrabi soup will taste much better with water.
1 tender kohlrabi
2 large carrots
4-6 cups homemade chicken or pork stock [or water]
1/2 cup nokedli* or precooked fine pasta
few sprigs of fresh parsley
salt to taste
• Peel the kohlrabi and the carrots and slice them very thin.
• Slowly heat the oil in a medium sized Dutch oven.
• Add the sliced kohlrabi and carrots.
• Sprinkle lightly with salt. Do not over salt, especially if you use homemade stock for the soup. It will have salt in it already.
• Sauté the vegetables for five minutes and stir often. Control the heat and make sure the vegetables don’t brown; caramelized vegetables will be unappetizing floating in the soup. You can always add a couple of tablespoons of stock or water to the pot, but don’t add too much liquid at this point. The flavours will not develop if the vegetables are cooked. They have to be sautéed.
• When the vegetables are tender, add the stock or the water. If you don’t have homemade stock, do not use commercial stock. The soup will taste much better if you use water.
• Bring the soup to a slow simmer, and add the cooked pasta.
• Wash a few sprigs of fresh parsley, squeeze out the water and chop them fine on a cutting board. My grandmother used to salt the parsley leaves before chopping them. The salted parsley chops finer and the salt releases the parsley flavour. But taste the soup first if it can handle the additional salt or not. If you miscalculated and the soup is too salty add a bit of water.
• Add the chopped parsley to the soup and its ready to serve.
* Click on THIS for the nokedli recipe
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