Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicken Soup with Barley and Kohlrabi

I believe I may have mentioned that I bought two beautiful bulbs of kohlrabi a while back at the Green Market. While they are apparently quite common here in the midwest, they were not something we saw much of down in Texas. I knew of them, but I did not know them. I had no idea what they tasted like, or how to use them.

The first time I saw them at the Green market, they were big and round and beautiful, and I just had to bring them home with me. These had the most gorgeous greens attached to them, which I steamed with turnip greens from the Clapshot. That left the kohlrabi itself, which I was not sure how to prepare.

After a little investigation I discovered that kohlrabi is another member of the cabbage family, and that it tastes something like broccoli. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and is most reminiscent of the broccoli stem.

I also learned that it is not necessary to peel them; if they're young enough it is thin so peeling is unnecessary. These felt a little on the thick side to me, so I trimmed the ends and ran the peeler over it gently, just to get rid of the outermost layer. They were more white inside, with just a hint of green.

They sliced up just like broccoli stems. For the sake of research, I tasted it raw, and it was crisp and tender, and it did indeed taste like broccoli. But it was milder, with a sweeter undertone.

They cooked up nicely, too. They were the perfect addition to this lighter, more summery version of chicken soup.
Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes

CHICKEN SOUP WITH BARLEY AND KOHLRABI
Makes 6 servings

2 chicken breasts, bone-in, with skin
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus 1 cup water (3 cups total liquid)
2 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup barley, rinsed well
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp thyme
2 large kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 14.5-oz. can kidney beans, drained (and rinsed, if non-organic)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Poach the chicken breasts in water to cover for about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken and and let cool. Add the cooking liquid to the 3 cups of the broth and water mixture.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not let the onions brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the carrots and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the broth and water mixture. Add the tarragon, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the barley. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes, until the barley is just tender.

While the barley is cooking and once the chicken is cool, remove the skin and remove the meat from the bone, then chop the meat into 1-1/2-inch pieces.

Add the kohlrabi and cook another 10 minutes, until the kohlrabi is tender. Add the kindney beans and the chicken and cook until just heated through.

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Created 6/19/09

Exported from Home Cookin 5.9 (www.mountain-software.com)

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