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Tomato Soup with Fresh Tarragon

Posted Feb 10 2011 5:56pm
For those of you not familiar with tarragon, it's a herb with a scent familiar to anise (black licorice). If you've ever tasted Bearnaise Sauce and couldn't quite put your finger on what the taste resembled - it's tarragon. Tarragon goes surprisingly well with tomatoes. I never would have imagined (black licorice + tomato = amazing).

Also, fun tip - If you ever want to keep those pesky critters out of your garden, tarragon will do the trick. Most bugs and insects dislike the smell and taste.

I found this amazing recipe from the Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook . Tomato soup with tarragon is so delicious, especially with asiago cheese bread for dipping. If you have not heard of the Rebar CookBook, you should get a copy today. It is such a good cookbook. They also have a cute little restaurant in Victoria, BC, if you're ever near the area.

6 cups vegetable stock (my favorite is Better Than Bouillon )
2 tbsp butter
1 sweet onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 bay leaves
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1/2 cup chopped tarragon
2 x 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes or 8 cups ripe, seeded, peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Heat 6 cups of vegetable stock in a large pot on low to medium heat. If you are using canned tomatoes, you may want to cut down the amount of broth. I tend to use 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water. Canned tomatoes are surprisingly salty.

2. In an separate pot, saute the chopped onions with 2 tbsp of butter. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic, bay leaves, chile, and half the tarragon. Saute for a couple of minutes. While that is cooking, drain and chop the canned tomatoes.

3. Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the broth, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Once the soup is cooked, add to a blender and puree a couple ladles full at a time. If you fill the bender to full with hot liquid, the lid will come flying off and you will have hot soup all over the kitchen. Trust me, I have done it before - with this exact soup.

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

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