Sunday, 2 October 2011

Celery and Tarragon Soup

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
Serves 4
Ingredients
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 serve
Method
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.

9 comments:

  1. While I'm not a fan of raw celery, I love it cooked, and this soup looks like a wonderful treat now that the days are getting cooler. I have to admit I might prefer another herb (sage?) in place of tarragon, as I don't care for the licorice flavor, but perhaps it's mild enough-? Anyway, nothing like hot soup on a chilly day! :-)

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  2. I love tarragon. Have never thought of pairing it with celery before.
    How easy is tarragon to grow? Would it survive the weather here?
    I'm waiting til next Spring before I try to grow my sage - just wondering if I should try tarragon too?
    Thanks Shaheen. Lou.

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  4. I love the combination of flavors in this soup--I am a big fan of tarragon. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

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  5. Thanks Miss Rachel.
    Its really refreshing to read that you like celery cooked, as many people don't.

    I think it will be fine to sub with sage, I just used tarragon as its a herb I don't use often: dried or fresh.
    :-)


    Thank you Lou.
    I have to admit I have struggled to grow tarragon from scratch and have always planted those ones you can purchase in pots from the supermarket in the ground, but it very rarely comes back the following year. So if your asking my honest advice, don't bother.

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    Thanks Deb.
    I'm so pleased I could participate this week, missed out last week. I hope to participate in Souper Sundays whenever I can.

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  7. I do really celery, but I've never tried it in a soup. Definitely one for the winter, especially as celery is quite cheap and I'm feeling the pinch this month!!

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  8. Thanks Elise,
    I'm sorry that your feeling the financial pinch this week. I had not thought of it, but yes it is quite a thrify recipe too (minus the feta cheese). I hope things pick up for you x

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  9. This one looks good. I like soups. At the moment we have a lot of pumpkin, so I think I'll make pumpkin soup tomorrow.

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