the taste space

Tomato Tarragon Soup

Posted in Appetizers, Soups by janet @ the taste space on October 3, 2011

While in Iceland, I must admit that I didn’t try many traditional Icelandic meals. My Icelandic finds mainly consisted of Icelandic herbal teas, whereas Rob tried the beer-boiled Icelandic hotdog and other traditional fish- and lamb-based dishes. He also discovered chocolate-covered licorice, an Icelandic candy! Licorice is actually a popular flavour for Icelandic candy. Yucko I say!

I have a few food aversions. Celery. Coffee. And yes, licorice.

And what do I buy from Sunny’s on a whim when I return?

Tarragon.

A new-to-me herb.

I had no idea what it even tasted like when I bought it, but I knew I had seen it in a few recipes recently. A big bunch was a $1 so I snapped it up.

You know what’s coming up….  It tastes like licorice! Like anise! Oh no! But I decided to forge ahead.. otherwise I would have wasted a $1. :P

I spotted this simple soup with tomato and tarragon in Rebar for my first taste of tarragon. It was a wonderful introduction to the herby epitome of French cuisine. It has a regal taste, in that it is not so harsh as licorice. The light flavour is delicious. It pairs great with tomato in this soup which is zippy from the garlic and chili flakes. I also wanted to add further creaminess and bulk, so I added in white beans prior to pureeing it.

People love CSAs because they are introduced to new veggies and are forced to use them in creative ways.  I get the same trippy feeling whenever I go to Sunny’s and scour their bargain section. I have no a clue what I will come home with… and this time, tarragon was a winner. :)


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this month’s Food Palette series featuring the rainbow, and to this week’s Wellness Weekends.

Tomato Tarragon Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
1/2 cup tarragon, sliced
2 cans (28 oz) whole tomatoes with juice
6 cups vegetable broth (dilute with water if using salted canned tomatoes)
1.5 cups cooked white beans (I used white kidney/cannellini, but lima beans would work well, too)
1 cup nondairy milk (I used the coconut milk from a carton)

1. In an large pot, saute the chopped onions with the oil. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic, bay leaves, chili flakes, and half the tarragon. Saute for a couple of minutes. While that is cooking, drain and chop the canned tomatoes.

2. Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the broth and beans, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Using a handheld blender, puree the soup until smooth (if using a blender, you may need to blend in batches).

3. Once all the soup has been pureed, stir in the milk and remaining tarragon. Bring the soup to a simmer before serving.

Serves 4-6 as a starter.

About these ads

17 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Amy said, on October 3, 2011 at 6:43 AM

    I love tarragon and think that this soup would be really good. I have some tarragon left out in my herb garden that I need to use up!

  2. Heidi said, on October 3, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    Nice soup, but what is CSA?

    • Saveur said, on October 3, 2011 at 5:46 PM

      I had to look it up! CSA stands for community-supported agriculture, but basically it is when you prepay for farm-fresh produce to be delivered to your door on a semi-quantitative basis.

  3. Ricki said, on October 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    You think tarragon tastes like anise? To me, it’s totally different! Taste buds are funny, aren’t they? Then again, I can’t imagine anyone not liking this soup. I think the beans would add a great texture and love the additional protein! Thanks for submitting this to WW this week.:)

    • Saveur said, on October 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM

      Hey Ricki, Tarragon definitely has a licorice-type flavour but it must be different because I actually like it. :)

  4. Priya said, on October 3, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Comforting bowl of flavourful, delicious soup..

  5. Joanne said, on October 3, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    I don’t really like licorice either but I surprisingly do love tarragon! I mixed it in with my tomato peach pasta sauce from earlier this year…so good. I can almost taste the wonderfulness of it in this tomato soup!

  6. emiglia said, on October 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    If you still have tarragon left to use, I make a mustard sauce for steak with it. I know that you’re eating vegan, but I assume there might be some sort of replacement protein that would go well with a sauce made from mustard, red wine and tarragon!

    • Saveur said, on October 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      I froze the last little bunch of it but thanks for the tip. Mustard, red wine and tarragon sound wonderful together! :)

  7. torviewtoronto and createwithmom said, on October 7, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    thank you for linking this delicious looking soup to the event
    regards

  8. Deb in Hawaii said, on October 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    I am a big fan of tarragon and started growing it this year. I have a soup coming up with it too. ;-) This one looks delicious–a great way to liven up a bowl of tomato soup. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. ;-)

  9. Ashley said, on October 24, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    I used to really dislike licorice but now I looooooove it. And chocolate covered licorice, yumm love that too. I never see fresh tarragon in the grocery store. I love your addition of beans to this soup! I wonder if you like fennel? I’m guessing not since it’s licoricey.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      I actually made 2 dishes with fennel yesterday and they turned out great… so maybe I am not so averse to licorice as I thought? I still think fennel seeds can be overpowering but who knows anymore! I guess one just has to continue to try new things. :)

  10. […] let’s push the boundaries some more (truthfully, parsnips are not that adventurist for me). I don’t like licorice but like tarragon. Why not try fennel? I am so happy I tried it, because I loved this stew, fennel […]

  11. […] a keeper."Busy Janet of The Taste Space has two soups to share this weekend. First up, this pretty Tomato Tarragon Soup. Janet says, "I spotted this simple soup with tomato and tarragon in Rebar for my first taste of […]

  12. […] Bombay Hummus – Tomato Tarragon Soup – Smoky Split Pea Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sage – Christmas Eve Borscht (or Barszcz) – […]

  13. […] first tried tarragon last year and since discovered it is an easy-to-grow perennial. Tarragon has a subtle anise flavour that I […]


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: