Chicken and Kohlrabi Soup

Chicken and Kohlrabi Soup

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This chicken and kohlrabi soup is an easy, comforting chicken soup recipe with just the right amount of peppery undertones from kohlrabi.

You know I love chicken soup around here, and I feel like I could easily make hundreds of variations. I never get bored with chicken soup, either. It’s rich, comforting, and just my go-to happy meal.

This version uses kohlrabi, which I bought on a whim. I don’t cook with kohlrabi often, though I have mashed kohlrabi for a side to duck breast.

what is kohlrabi

What is kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is not a root vegetable, even though it looks like one! It’s a cruciferous vegetable–specifically in the mustard family–and is related to cabbage, broccoli, and bok choy, to name a few. It has long, edible stems, though some grocery stores will sell them without the shoots (like mine above).

What does kohlrabi taste like? It’s peppery, a little bitter, and has a nice bite to it. It works perfectly in soups and stews. I like to cut it with potatoes because I find the flavor works best in small doses.

It’s easy to prepare, too! You just need to peel away the tough outer layer and cut off the root end. From there, dice it up exactly as you would a potato.

kohlrabi soup

How to make this chicken and kohlrabi soup:

This soup starts like many of my chicken soups: homemade broth. As always, you can buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it up. Skip straight to the “make the soup” part of the recipe and use store-bought broth instead of homemade. This will give you a soup that’s as quick as anything to throw on the table.

What you need

  • Whole chicken: You can also use thighs or leg quarters. I recommend using bone-in, skin-on chicken for the best flavor.
  • Broth aromatics: I use bay leaves, a head of garlic, and onion. You can throw in your scrappy vegetables here, like celery, carrots, and the dark green parts of your leek.
  • Soup vegetables: This recipe uses an onion, carrots, leek, potatoes, and kohlrabi. You can add any number of vegetables to this, like turnips, fennel, squash, or celeriac. It would also be great with celery too.
  • Soup spices: I load this soup with smoked and sweet paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and fennel pollen. Fennel pollen is pricy, so omit it if you don’t have it or can’t find it. You can add a pinch of crushed fennel seeds to get that flavor.
  • Orzo: You know I love pasta in my soup. I use dry orzo, but any small pasta works here.
  • For serving: I finish with lemon juice and chives. Fresh parsley or minced scallions would be nice, too!

How to make it

  • Start with the broth: Cover the chicken with water and add the aromatics if you’re making homemade broth. Simmer it for about an hour and a half. Remove the chicken and continue simmering it until the broth reduces to about 12 cups. Strain the broth through a sieve. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove.
  • Make the soup: From there, simply layer in your soup ingredients. Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onion, leeks, and carrots. Sauté briefly, and then add the kohlrabi and potatoes. Add all the spices and cook for 1–2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Simmer the soup: Add the broth and chicken once the vegetables have finished sautéing. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 20–25 minutes until the potatoes and kohlrabi are mostly fork-tender. They’ll keep cooking with the orzo!
  • Cook the orzo: Return the soup to a boil, add the orzo, and cook until it is tender.
  • Finish the soup: Now you can add your lemon juice and chives and let stand for 5–10 minutes.
soup with kohlrabi

Now you’re ready to serve! Ladle the warm soup into bowls and finish with more chives if you like.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I did! If you make it, please rate it and drop a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Chicken and Kohlrabi Soup

This chicken and kohlrabi soup is an easy, comforting chicken soup recipe with just the right amount of peppery undertones from kohlrabi.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 508kcal


  • Large pot
  • Fine mesh sieve


Broth (see note):

  • pound whole chicken
  • Water
  • 12–16 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3–4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled, halved, and diced
  • 1 leek, trimmed, scrubbed, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 1 pound kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¾ pound Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and medium-diced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen optional
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • 12 cups broth, from above
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced chives; plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper


Prepare the broth:

  • Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with 16 cups water—enough to ensure the chicken is completely immersed. Add the bay leaves, salt, onion, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Periodically skim the top of the broth to remove foam.
  • Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a large bowl.
  • Turn the heat on the pot to medium-low. Rapidly simmer the broth for an additional 20–30 minutes. It should be reduced to about 12 cups. It’s okay if you have a little more or a little less. Turn off the heat.
  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove.

Prepare the chicken:

  • Pick the meat from the bones and dice it or shred it with your fingers. Discard the bones and skin or reserve them for stock.

Make the soup:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the kohlrabi and potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the sweet paprika, thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and fennel pollen if using. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and cook for 1–2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the broth and shredded chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the potatoes and kohlrabi are nearly fork-tender. Taste and season.

Finish the soup:

  • Return the soup to a boil. Add the dry orzo and boil for 10–12 minutes or until the orzo is tender. Turn off the heat.
  • Add the lemon juice and chives. Let stand for 5–10 minutes. Taste and season.

To serve:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with more minced chives on top. Enjoy!


If you decide to use a rotisserie chicken, skip straight to the “make the soup” part of the recipe. Shred the entire chicken, which should yield 4–5 cups of meat. Use it with 12 cups of store-bought broth.


Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 144mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 78mg
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