You might say this is gilding the lily: ginger on ginger. Ginger’s been our antidote to wintery blues as we continue to thin the storage crops. It worked the other day for sautéed cabbage, so I put a hefty piece into a kohlrabi soup to spark it up. Kohlrabi is a form of cabbage although the bulge at the base of its stem resembles a root. It’s one of the best keepers from last fall’s harvest. I still have a few turnips and a little celeriac too and they went into the mix, along with a yellow potato to make the soup creamy without using cream. I used a light chicken stock because I had some but a vegetable broth would be fine.
The soup was delicious but didn’t look like much so I quick-pickled some watermelon radishes with ginger and tossed them in for color and a spunky flavor. The colorful piquant pickle dressed up the soup in looks and taste like it belongs in the Easter parade.
Gingered Kohlrabi and Root Soup
6 medium kohlrabi bulbs
2-3 medium gold or white turnips
1 very small celeriac bulb (celery root)
1 medium yellow or white potato
2-inch piece of ginger root
1 medium onion,
2 tsp vegetable oil
4 c light chicken stock or vegetable broth
Optional garnish: pickled ginger and radishes
Peel the kohlrabi, turnips, celeriac and potato and cut them into similar sized cubes. Peel the ginger and chop it fine. Chop the onion into small pieces.
Warm the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, stirring to cook it until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the vegetables and the ginger and stir to combine. Add the stock or broth and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until all of the vegetables are tender. Remove and let cool slightly. Puree with an immersion blender or use a food processor. Serve hot.
Pickled Ginger Radishes
3-4 medium watermelon radishes (or other variety)
1 tsp salt
1 or 2-inch piece of ginger
¼ c unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
Peel the radishes and slice them into thin rounds, matchsticks or chunks. Place them in a bowl, sprinkle them with salt, and set aside for 15 minutes. Peel and slice the ginger to match the radishes in shape.
When the radishes are finished with their salting process, place the rice vinegar and sugar in a cup and microwave it (or cook it on the stove in a very small pan), just until it simmers and the sugar dissolves (give it a good stir). Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the radishes and let the mixture cool. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.