All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Thursday, April 9, 2009

easter dinner and celery-tomato soup with tarragon

Whenever I'm having people over for a special meal, I think about color. And this Easter, I'm thinking whipped mashed potatoes with from-the-garden-chives, herb rubbed ham, the favorite "fluffy" green salad, asparagus, and the Easter cake: carrot cake with cream cheese and lemon frosting ( lots of frosting!) with handmade marzipan carrots that we plunk into the thick frosting at the last minute. White, pinkish, green, white and burnt orange ( that would be the cake). So I'm thinking this vibrant red soup, loaded with herbs and simmered celery pieces, would be a perfect starter. Served with flour rolls, it should look very pretty.
And, as always, I have a backup recipe - for Baked Grape Tomatoes with cornbread crumbs at Karina's Kitchen that have the same vibrant color and sound really, really good.
If you think of textures, this soup is a wonderful balance between thick chunks of celery and a tomato-herb broth. If I made, say - a smooth leek and potato soup, it wouldn't be as interesting, even with a sprinkle of green chives on top. So Celery Soup it will be.
To make:
2 T. olive oil
3 stalks of celery, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, roughly chopped into largeish pieces
2 cups grated carrots ( I use a grater on my Kitchenaid mixer, but you can use the large holes on a hand held grater)
1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes in juice, cut up into medium pieces
1 28 oz can of chicken or vegetable stock - I use the tomato can to measure
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. oregano
2 t. dried tarragon
salt to taste and freshly cracked pepper
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot. Add the carrots, celery chunks, and onions and stir on law for a few minutes. Cover and braise for 15 minutes.
Uncover the pot and add the tomatoes, the juice from the tomatoes, the stock, and herbs.
Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, checking the pot once in a while. If it needs a little more liquid, add some water.
Make sure the vegetables are soft, and taste before serving, adding pepper and salt as needed.
Serve with Portuguese Flour rolls, or just some curls of parmesan.
This serves 4.
Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter!


Barb said...

Mmmmmm - this looks & sounds delicious (see, I am so redundant, aren't I??)

What I really want to know is what is the "fluffy" green salad????

katrina said...

Even if you say the same thing ( which I do, too, on other blogs....mmmmm, lovely, or mmmm, wonderful!) it's nice to hear from you, always! Ah, about the salad. Nicknamed "fluffy salad" by a friend, and it seems to have stuck - green leaf lettuce, oil and vinegar dressing, a little arugula - and you got it.

ennbee said...

you specify dried tarragon. are the other herbs fresh?

katrina said...

Good point , ennbee - no, all the herbs are dried. I specified dried tarragon because it's much stronger and more reliable for cooking if you want that tangy taste. Basil, of course, is fine dry or fresh, as is oregano - but thyme is sometimes a little coarse and "leafy". Thanks for catching me on that!

Barb said...

Hi Katrina (again!)

I looked at the Baked Grape Tomato recipe from the link you posted and it looks so good! Have you tried it? I'm gonna have to give this a try sometime too. (I need to start cooking more! You've given me every good reason to do so!)

Anyway, what I really wanted to do is to wish you is a very Happy Easter! and a Happy Dinner Party!

katrina said...

Hello again, Barb! I wish you a delightful celebration of Spring and all things egg ( and chocolate, and jelly bean) - and I'm making those Baked Grape tomatoes tonight - really looking forward to them! Thanks again for coming by!