08 December 2010

Creamy Tomato Soup with Tarragon

Let me be clear: the tarragon is the key to the success of this luscious winter concoction. Normally I reserve tomato dishes for summer when tomatoes are, well, good. But this defies logic, involves a can opener, and warms even the frostiest winter heart. You could, of course, use a different herb like boring basil, but the tarragon is fresh, fruity, and surprising. Give it a try.

Chunky/Creamy Tomato Soup with Tarragon

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp+1 tsp dried tarragon
1/3 cup flour
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1-14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3 oz. orzo or other very small pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half (what I used)
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat butter and olive oil until butter is melted and starts to froth. Add onions and garlic and sauté while you chop up the carrots and celery. I suggest a small dice on these so they are more uniformly bite size. Add carrots and celery to pot along with 1 tsp of tarragon and 1/4 tsp salt. Continue to cook until onions are soft. Add flour and mix well, then cook for 1-2 minutes. Add broth all at once, stirring well to dissolve the flour. Add both cans of tomatoes and 1Tbsp tarragon and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple minutes to allow it to thicken slightly, then add orzo. Cook until pasta is soft, 6-10 minutes, then add cream or half & half and adjust seasoning. You may need more tarragon—I eyeballed and tasted, so my measurements are approximate. Serve with Challah or other crusty bread of your choice.

It's practically a dump & go soup with a little light chopping at the beginning and stirring to keep the pasta from gluing itself to the bottom of the pot. Oh, and it is delicious.

No comments: