Pea & tarragon soup

Pea & tarragon soup

Zuppa di piselli e dragoncello

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

This incredibly easy soup is something I rustle up when I need a quick lunch or starter. I love the aniseed flavours of tarragon. It is known in Italy as dragoncello – a wonderful name which conjures up images of medieval knights and mythical beasts. It may be so named as it is said to have been introduced to Siena by Charlemagne in 774, when it was used to make salsa verde.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 white onion, peeled and finely chopped
salt
freshly ground black pepper
500g frozen or fresh peas
small bunch tarragon
1 litre Poached chicken & chicken stock
4 slices pancetta, cut into 1 cm- wide strips, (optional)

Method

  1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onions, a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté until soft. Add the peas and 2 sprigs of the tarragon, and stir through. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Cook the peas for 5 minutes if frozen and 10 minutes if fresh.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the pancetta (if using) in the remaining olive oil in a nonstick frying pan, until just crispy, then remove from the pan and set aside. When the peas are soft use a stick blender or food processor to blitz the soup until smooth. Serve scattered with the remaining tarragon, leaves stripped and roughly chopped, the pancetta, if using, and a swirl of good-quality olive oil.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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