Broccoli, button onions and mushrooms are among the vegetables of diverse colour and texture in this chunky soup, but its distinctive character comes from the tarragon whose flavour pervades the creamy base.
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 button onions, peeled
3 level tablespoons All purpose flour
1 1/2 pints vegetable or chicken stock
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 level teaspoons dried tarragon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup button mushrooms, wiped and quartered
2 cups squash or pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and diced
1/2 cup low-fat natural yoghurt
1 level tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon to garnish
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and cook the onions in it over a high heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to brown them all over. Lift the onions onto a plate with a slotted spoon.
2. Mix the flour into the oil left in the pan and cook over a moderate heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually blend in the stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened.
3. Mix in the onions, carrot, tarragon and lemon juice, and season with pepper. Bring back to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli, mushrooms and marrow or pumpkin, cover, and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender.
4. Stir in the yoghurt and reheat the soup without letting it boil or it will curdle. Pour the soup into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the fresh tarragon and serve immediately.
For a change of flavour, you can use basil instead of tarragon in the soup and as a garnish.