Tomato Tarragon Soup
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?
A new-to-me herb.
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.
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.
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.