Tarragon soup is a type of soup that is typically flavored with the aromatic tarragon herb. Tarragon is one of the finest herbs used in French cuisine with an aroma reminiscent of anise. Apart from French cuisine, the East Asian and Mexican cuisines widely use Tarragon in soups as well as other dishes.
Cooking with tarragon is a well-monitored task as it is observed that excess of tarragon herb may overpower the taste of other ingredients owing to the bitterness of the herb. Therefore, it is suggested that tarragon be added in carefully measured quantities in soups and other dishes.
Commonly Used Ingredients and Preparation of Tarragon Soup
The preparation of tarragon soup is quite similar to other soup dishes; however, ingredients may vary in different recipes. Vegetables including leek, potato, beans, onion, carrot and tomatoes are highly used to make soups with tarragon herb. Among the meat group, chicken is the preferred meat that imparts a nice flavor when cooked with tarragon. Tarragon also seasons the seafood and egg soups quite well.
Tarragon is used in both dried and fresh forms to season the dishes, but fresh herb should be used sparingly as it has an intense flavor that may taste bitter if used in excess. Dried herb is a better choice for soups, as the herb oil dissipates and imparts a subtle flavor to the herb.
Excess heat also intensifies the tarragon flavor; therefore, the herb should be added once all the soup ingredients are fully cooked. Tarragon sprigs should be included just before serving the soup and allowed to steep inside the soup for few a seconds.
Another best way to add tarragon to the soup is through tarragon-infused vinegar. Fresh tarragon sprigs are steeped into vinegar until the desired flavor and intensity is achieved. The vinegar may be used sparingly to flavor any tarragon soup.
Popular Tarragon Soup Recipes
- Tomato-tarragon soup – A very simple yet flavorful soup. Tarragon adds a French flavor to tomatoes that are cooked with chopped onion, garlic and olive oil. Cooked tomatoes are pureed and combined with sour cream to make a thick creamy soup. Both fresh and dried tarragon can be used to flavor the soup just before serving.
- Creamy tarragon and chicken soup – It is a good dish to prepare with chicken leftovers. However, fresh chicken may always be added. Chicken bouillon cubes may be used or fresh chicken stock can be prepared beforehand to be incorporated to the soup. Dried tarragon is generally added with dried parsley for extra flavor. Milk and cream are the preferred add-ons, but other ingredients such as corn, potato, celery and boiled eggs may be included as per the preference.
- Tarragon and green pea soup – It’s a typical British recipe prepared with petis pois (very small green peas) puree. The sweet flavor of petis pois subdues the slight bitter flavor of tarragon. Chicken or vegetable stock can be used as the base of the soup with minimal salt and pepper seasoning.
Health Facts Related to Tarragon Soup
Tarragon is believed to be an appetite stimulator, therefore it is a very nice addition to soups that are served as appetizers. Various scientific researches show that this herb helps in lowering the blood glucose levels.
Among all the species and varieties of tarragon, Russian tarragon is considered inferior as it has low flavoring properties; therefore , it is not commonly included in tarragon soup.