About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, March 03, 2008
Walnut, Kohlrabi and Apple Soup

Many years ago, when I shared a house with a married couple, my mate's wife, Christine, showed me how to make several different things, a few of which have stuck with me over the years; braised red cabbage and red cabbage salad, the oddly named kartoffelpuffer - similar to a hash brown - and a lovely salad of chicken, walnuts, celery and apple, bound together with mayonnaise.

The other day, I poached a whole chicken for the first time in my life and immediately wondered why I hadn't done so sooner. Okay, there is no crispy chicken skin, but the offset is wonderfully moist flesh, much juicer than a roast chicken and ready in two-thirds the time. That set me thinking about the aforementioned chicken salad, how nice it would be to use poached chicken instead of roasted. All of a sudden, my mind went racing off on a tangent. Wouldn't it be great to make an autumnal soup with all those flavours?

I mean, the Spanish have a white gazpacho, made with almond meal, so for sure ground walnuts would work; apple would be easy enough to work in, but what about the celery? How about celeriac? There was just one problem, celeriac wasn't in season. Still, the idea seemed sound, so I would just have to wait. Oh, the heck with waiting, I wanted to make the soup and needed an alternative. The other day at the greengrocer, my alternative was lurking on a shelf in the shape of kohlrabi.

If celeriac isn't much used amongst home cooks, kohlrabi is used even less. A member of the cabbage family, it has a very mild cabbage flavour and would suit my purposes perfectly and after a quick session in the kitchen, a batch of soup was produced. My seven year old daughter M was asking for some lunch, so I handed her a large cup of soup. "Mmm, delicious", she said on her first taste, demolished her cup in short order and asked for another cup, then another. I had to pull her up at the third, as I needed a photo.

This soup has an intriguing flavour and none of the ingredients are readily identifiable, the walnuts gave it a smooth creamy texture without the addition of one drop of fat, the kohlrabi gave it body and the apple a little sweetness. Normally, I'm not fussed about chicken stock, happy to use stock powder or commercial chicken stock, but for this soup I strongly recommend home made chicken stock, especially one simmered with a few chicken giblets for a deeper flavour. A good home made vegetable stock would probably work well too. Really, once the stock is made, it couldn't be easier.

Walnut, Kohlrabi and Apple Soup
(serves four)

1.25 l home made chicken or vegetable stock
2 kohlrabi*, peeled and roughly chopped
2 apples, granny smith or other tart apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
125 g ground walnuts
salt and fresh ground pepper

Pour the chicken stock into a pot and put in the kohlrabi, apple and ground walnuts. Bring to the boil and simmer for ten or fifteen minutes until the kohlrabi and apple are tender. Pour the soup into a blender and blitz until smooth. If desired you can strain the soup to ensure no lumps, pour it back into the pot and season to taste. Serve.

*Celeriac would also be good.

This is also my entry to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, this week hosted by the lovely Anna from Morsels & Musings.
  posted at 7:36 am

At 12:45 pm, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I confess that, though I've eaten it, I've never cooked kohlrabi, and I can't quite imagine the taste of this soup (which, of course, means I will have to try it). I have gotten over the hump of ugly veggies, though, and used celeriac, jicama, etc. So kohlrabi shall have its day!

At 9:56 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You've never poached a chicken! That is hard to believe! I have never eaten (that I'm aware of but since I know my grandmother grew it in her garden, I imagine I have)! I feel just like Lydia.
You know you can even poach pieces of chicken, that's what I do for chicken salad but a whole chicken of course presents several meal options.
Must try kohlrabi...

At 10:17 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi lydia, funnily enough, this was the first time I have actually cooked kohlrabi, we normally just grate it raw, dress it and serve as a salad, it's very tasty like that. May all the ugly ducklings arise and have their day!

Hi tanna, I couldn't quite believe it myself, though I'm not counting simmering an old boiler for two or three hours, which I've done a few times. I hope you do try kohlrabi, they are great for salads too. Home grown has heaps more flavour than store bought.

At 7:15 pm, Blogger Anna (Morsels and Musings) said...

it's such a pretty lavender colour that it almosts looks like a sweet dish at first glance.

the flavours sound like they match well.

At 1:40 pm, Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

It sounds just delicious! My parents used to grow kohlrabi, but we mostly ate it raw, with what we called "vegetable dip" in those days (before the U.S. obsession with Ranch Dressing hit.) It's fun to hear about how you're expanding your cooking horizons. Blogging will really do that to you, don't you think?

At 9:58 pm, Blogger Kristin said...

i bought kohlrabi for the first time last week. and for want of recipes, i just put it in salad. ryan wasn't a fan though - too cabbagy.

At 4:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an excellent idea. I had German friends who would long for kohlrabi all the time, but couldn't really explain why. I've often looked but never ventured and the idea of this soup feels empowering, thanks:)

At 9:15 pm, Blogger Jeanne said...

Funny how kohlrabi hasn't really caught on in most English-speaking countries as it's delicious both raw and cooked. Your soup sounds divine!

At 4:03 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely blog! Added to favorites :)

At 12:58 am, Blogger Maggie said...

This sounds great! I've used ground walnuts in mushroom soup to make it creamy without dairy and I loved it. Now I have another soup recipe with walnuts to try!

At 7:23 pm, Blogger Silver said...

hi,,,how are you doing? i hope you are fine ,,,,this is a nice blog i have one of my own come and take a look

At 11:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks delicious

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