Yesterday morning I left Sunny Wales, via an equally sun blazing Bristol only to fly into a very, very wet and damp Scotland. I should say I was shocked at the difference in the weather conditions as well as the temperatures, but I would be fibbing. The truth is, I have got used to the weather here - after all (according to some Scottish friends) I am a honorary Scot; living here for almost 15 years. So what does such weather call for? Soup, of course.
Celery is often used as a mirepoix to many soups. For this
reason, I think it often gets overlooked and overpowered by other ingredients,
but not here. Today I have given celery a leading role in this soup. But before
you think I am always this thoughtful towards the slinky sleek celery. I have
to be honest with you and say that this is not always the case, as you will
often find it lurking at the bottom of my fridge, getting all soft and limp,
but like I said not today.
There is something soothing about this
soup; and the mild licorice and anise seed flavour from the tarragon is very
refreshing too. In
New Kitchen Garden, American cook and food writer Celia Brooks Brown writes
'The flavour of celery grows stronger closer to its heart, so use as much of
this as possible'. I have to agree. In addition, it also has more crunchy
freshness, the kind you get from a good lettuce.
You can serve this soup with thick yogurt, but I
think it also goes pretty well with a little crumbled feta cheese and fresh
smattering of black pepper. I am sharing a bowl of this soup with Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for this week’s Souper (Soup, Salad and Sammies) Sundays.
Celery and Tarragon Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 celery heart, cleaned and sliced
2 - 3 cloves garlic
800ml vegetable stock
25g fresh tarragon, leaves stripped,
roughly chopped (plus extra for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: feta cheese or thick yogurt to
Heat the oil in a wide pan over medium
heat. Add the onion and celery and fry gently until softened. Add the garlic
and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Pour in the stock, and season
with salt and pepper.
Add the tarragon to the soup and simmer
for 10 - 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to cool. When cool,
either blend in a food processor or with a hand held blender and puree until
smooth. Add water if it is too thick and adjust consistency to your liking.
Reheat gently and serve warm in bowls with a little crumbling of feta cheese or
a dollop of yogurt. Adapted from Adam Caplin and Celia Brooks Brown
New Kitchen Garden.