Tarragon – Artemesia dranunculus

Tarragon – Artemesia dranunculus

Tarragon – Artemesia dranunculus - is a native of southern Europe, although now in many other areas. French Tarragon is distinct from Russian Tarragon, which has little flavour and therefore is not used as a culinary herb. French Tarragon can only be propagated by cuttings or division. Tarragon grows best in a warm dry position, it dislikes wet humid conditions. Plants die down over winter and will need replacing after 3-4 years as plants tend to lose their flavour.

Leaves are used to flavour chicken, egg dishes, salad dressings and vinegars.

Carrot & Tarragon Soup

Serves 4-6 – A delicious summer soup

350g carrots, 1 small onion

2 leeks – finely chopped, 50g butter

2 Sprigs of Fresh tarragon, 750ml boiling water

1 tsp sugar, 4tbsp double cream

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Wash, peel and slice carrots thinly, chop onions and leeks finely
Melt butter in pan and soften onion, then add carrots and leeks
Put lid on pan and ‘sweat’ gently for 10 mins
Strip leaves from the tarragon and add to pan with the boiling water, sugar and salt & pepper
Bring back to the boil and simmer gently for 25 mins
Remove from heat and liquidise or sieve soup
Return to pan and reheat adding the cream
Decorate with a sprig of Tarragon

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