The homeland of dishes with tarragon is Transylvania, this versatile herb has a long tradition in the Transylvanian cuisine. Tarragon has an intense flavour that’s a unique mix of sweet anis and a mild vanilla. Care should be taken when using this spice because tarragon can easily dominate other flavors.
Tarragon ragout soup can be made with pork or chicken, choice depends on your preference. The obligatory vegetables are carrot, parsley root and celeriac; green peas, cauliflower and kohlrabi are also often added to the soup, but I prefer to use potatoes and green beans instead of them. The soup is thickened with a flour-sour cream- mustard mixture, and flavoured with a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice in the end.
- 3/4 tbsp lard
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 kg (~2 1/4 lbs) boneless pork (leg or shoulder), cut into 1 inch chunks
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp tarragon
- 2 – 2,5 l (~8-10 cups) stock
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 parsley roots, sliced
- a small slice of celeriac (approx. 50 g / 2 oz), diced
- 3 medium potatoes, diced
- 300 g (~ 2/3 lb) green beans, trimmed and cut
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2-3 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp prepared mustard
- lemon juice to taste
In a heavy pot heat the lard, add finely chopped onions, a little later, finely chopped garlic, and sauté until translucent. Add pork and fry until all sides turn white. Pour in stock, add tarragon, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat.
Once pork is halfway cooked, add root vegetables, green beans and potatoes and cook until tender. Combine sour cream, flour and mustard with 1/2 cup of water. When pork and vegetables are tender, whisk some hot soup in the sour cream mixture and in a fine stream pour into the soup while stirring constantly. Adjust salt and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and squeeze a little lemon juice in the soup.