Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
This soup is great served cold or at room temperature. Perfect as a starter for a summer meal, as a light luncheon dish, or packed for a sophisticated picnic lunch with chicken salad on croissants. Originally from an August 1984 issue of Bon Apetit that featured a section on Picnics Made Perfect. Fresh tomatoes, straight off the vine, are a must for this for best flavor!
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon (or 1 T. dried tarragon, crumbled)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 large tomatoes, quartered (about 2 lbs.)
- 4 cups rich chicken broth, preferably homemade (or more)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 T. dried thyme, crumbled)
- 1 small bay leaf
- cayenne pepper
- Remove leaves from 1 tarragon branch;reserve for garnish.
- Heat olive oil in large heavy saucepan over low heat.
- Add onion, cover and cook until translucent,stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes.
- Blend in 4 cups chicken broth, tomato paste, 2 tarragon branches and 1 tarragon stem, thyme, bay leaf and salt and cayenne to taste.
- Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until soup thickens, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Puree soup in blender or food processor.
- Strain through a sieve to eliminate seeds, if desired.
- If soup is too thick, thin with more broth; if too thin, simmer to thicken.
- Before serving, adjust seasonings.
- Pour or ladle into bowls or mugs, garnish with reserved tarragon leaves, and serve.