Licorice is one of those flavors that I strongly disliked growing up. I would always steer away from the black licorice bites in the candy dish and grimace in disgust when I got an unexpected mouthful of anise from an Italian Christmas cookie. Over the past year, my tastes must be changing, because I have been all about licorice flavored ingredients. Whether I am spicing my cookies with star anise, caramelizing fresh strips of fennel or sautéing up some chicken breasts with tarragon, I just can’t seem to get enough! This Cold Tomato and Tarragon Soup is no exception. The pairing of tomato and tarragon is wonderfully refreshing and the onion and garlic give the soup a flavorful kick. Continue reading for this “no cook” recipe.
Cold Tomato and Tarragon Soup
- 2 ½ pounds vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 sweet onion, in chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups tomato juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup baguette crumbs*
- 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese, for topping
In a large blender, add the tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, tarragon leaves, tomato juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and sugar**. Blend until smooth. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Add the breadcrumbs to the blender and pulse a couple of times to incorporate (don’t blend the crumbs too much – they are there for texture).
Transfer soup to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and top with crumbled goat cheese, whole tarragon leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
* You can make baguette crumbs by pulsing some crusty pieces of baguette in a food processor. If you want to use store bought bread crumbs instead, I would recommend getting crumbs that are coarse and unseasoned.
** I tried making this recipe in my standard blender and the volume was too much. I had to blend the ingredients in two batches and transfer to a large bowl to season.