Tomato Tarragon Soup is richly flavored with a base of San Marzano tomatoes complemented by fresh tarragon and sour cream. It takes about 20 minutes to make and is fantastic served with lots of warm French bread.
Sometimes cooking is just too much effort, isn’t it? Sometimes you’re just tired and hungry and you want something good and quick to eat. I do, anyway. And sometimes it’s just too darned much effort to drag myself out of the house for dinner.
That’s exactly the way I felt when I first thought up this Tomato Tarragon Soup. It was after a weekend food blogging conference when I also had a work trip coming up the next day and I just could not tolerate another 10 minutes in the car to get to the nearest restaurant.
So, I just started pulling out a few things and looking in the fridge for any fresh herbs I might have on hand. I found a package of tarragon I had picked up a few days before but hadn’t used. I also had some really lovely San Marzano tomatoes in the pantry.
Tarragon in the fridge and tomatoes in the pantry = Tomato Tarragon Soup!
I’m happy to tell you that this is one of the best homemade tomato soups I’ve ever had. Rich, bright tomato flavor combined with smooth creamy sour cream and that hit of fresh tarragon turns plain old tomato soup into something quite elegant.
Try this one – you’re really going to love it. Promise.
❤️ Why We Love This Recipe
- Very Quick with Low Effort: With just 20 minutes of cooking time, this homemade tomato soup recipe is a lifesaver for busy evenings when you crave a delicious meal without the fuss.
- Big Flavors: The combination of San Marzano tomatoes, fresh tarragon, and creamy sour cream creates a truly lovely combination of flavors, transforming a simple tomato soup into an elegant and rich treat for your taste buds.
- Dress it up or Down: Enjoy this soup simply on its own or pair it with warm French bread slathered with butter for a hearty meal. Plus, it’s freezer-friendly, making it a convenient option for meal prep and future cravings.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING …
“I’m a tomato soup fanatic, and this one is such a good one”
🛒 Ingredient Notes
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- Olive Oil – You won’t need anything fancy, whatever you have on hand is fine.
- Onion – I prefer a mild, yellow onion for this recipe.
- San Marzano tomatoes – I really do recommend using San Marzano tomatoes for this recipe. They’re a type of plum tomato that comes from a specific region in Italy. The flavor is well worth the small extra cost.
- Sour Cream – I really like the slightly tangy background flavor the sour cream gives to the soup. You could also use Greek yogurt or just a little heavy cream or half and half.
- Tarragon – If you have fresh, it’s the best! Substitute dried if you can’t access fresh.
🥄 How to Make Tomato Tarragon Soup
- Add the olive oil to a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft.
- To the sautéed onions, add the San Marzano and the diced tomatoes together with all their juices. I used a 28-ounce can of San Marzanos and a 15-ounce can of regular old diced tomatoes. Just because that’s what I had on hand. You can use any combination or all of one type. Whatever floats your boat.
- Add the salt and pepper. Bring to a good, steady simmer and cook for ten minutes.
- Puree the sauteed tomatoes and onions using either a regular blender or an immersion blender directly in the pan.
If you don’t have one, simply ladle the tomatoes a little at a time into a regular blender and puree them. Return it all to the pan when you have the consistency you want. I left some chunks in the pan only because I prefer it that way. If you want yours very smooth, just blend a little longer.
- Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the sour cream and tarragon.
The recipe makes about 4 one-cup servings. Garnish each with a dollop of sour cream and a little tarragon if desired.
⚠️ Troubleshooting Tips
⚡Soup Too Thin:
Advice: If your soup turns out thinner than desired, thicken it by simmering it uncovered for a bit longer. This will help reduce the liquid and intensify the flavors.
⚡Soup Too Thick:
Advice: If the soup becomes too thick, thin it out by adding a little vegetable or chicken broth, water, or even a bit of milk or cream. Start with a small amount and adjust until you achieve your desired consistency.
⚡Overly Tart or Acidic:
Advice: If the soup tastes too tart or acidic, you can balance the flavors by adding a pinch of sugar or a drizzle of honey. Start with a small amount and taste as you go to avoid over-sweetening.
⚡ Lumpy Texture:
Advice: If the soup has lumps or an uneven texture after blending, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids. Then, return the smooth liquid to the pot and reheat.
⚡Sour Cream Curdles:
Advice: To prevent sour cream from curdling when adding it to the hot soup, make sure to temper it first. To do that, gradually whisk a small amount of the hot soup into the sour cream to bring it to a warmer temperature. Then, slowly pour the warmed sour cream mixture into the soup while whisking continuously.
⚡ Not Enough Flavor:
Advice: If the soup lacks flavor, adjust the seasoning by adding more salt, pepper, or tarragon. Taste and adjust as needed to enhance the taste to your liking.
⚡ Too Salty:
Advice: If your soup is too salty, try to balance it by adding more unsalted canned tomatoes or a bit of water. This will help dilute the saltiness while retaining the tomato flavor.
💡 More Garnish Ideas
Crunchy Croutons: Top your soup with homemade or store-bought croutons for a satisfying crunch. You can make croutons with various seasonings like garlic and herbs.
Parmesan Cheese: Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the soup just before serving. The nutty, salty flavor pairs beautifully with the tomatoes.
Chopped Fresh Herbs: Besides tarragon, experiment with other fresh herbs like chives, parsley, or cilantro for a burst of freshness and color.
Toasted Pine Nuts: Toasted pine nuts add a pleasant nutty flavor and a bit of texture to the soup.
Balsamic Reduction: Drizzle a balsamic reduction over the soup for a sweet and tangy contrast to the tomatoes’ acidity.
Crispy Bacon or Pancetta: Crumble crispy bacon or pancetta over the soup for a savory twist.
🔀 Recipe Variations
Spicy Tomato Tarragon Soup: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
Roasted Tomato Tarragon Soup: Roast fresh tomatoes in the oven until they caramelize before adding them to the soup. Roasting intensifies the tomato flavor and adds depth to the dish.
Tomato Tarragon Bisque: For an even creamier texture, substitute heavy cream for sour cream. This turns the soup into a luxurious bisque.
Vegan Tomato Tarragon Soup: Omit the sour cream and use a plant-based alternative like coconut cream or almond milk for a vegan-friendly version of the soup.
🍽️ What Can I Serve with Creamy Tomato and Tarragon Soup?
In my opinion, this soup with a loaf of warm crusty French bread and lots of butter is a nearly perfect meal on its own.
Of course, there’s always the classic pairing of any tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. Try my Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich for a real treat! If you’re in the mood for something a little different, a Georgia BLT with Fried Green Tomatoes or a Ham, Apple, and Brie Panini are both terrific.
There’s also the option of making your own Easy Homemade Bread to serve alongside, or tasty Cornmeal Scallion Fritters, or even my delicious Pumpkin Seed Breadsticks. And don’t forget the Homemade Croutons!
🍚 How to Store Leftovers
Any leftover soup will keep for 3 or 4 days in a closed container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or over low heat on the stovetop.
This soup also freezes well. Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
❓ Questions About Tomato Tarragon Soup
While San Marzano tomatoes do have a distinctly rich flavor, you can easily substitute regular canned tomatoes if needed.
I do not specialize in any specific diets, but it’s my understanding that this soup would vegetarian-friendly as it does not contain any meat or meat-based broth. It gets its creaminess from sour cream.
Absolutely! You can prepare this soup in advance and reheat it when your guests arrive. It’s a great option for entertaining as it’s both flavorful and easy to make.
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
I’d LOVE to know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked it!
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Tomato Tarragon Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 28 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes
- 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
- Add the olive oil to a large saucepan over medium high heat.
- Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft.
- To the sautéed onions, add the San Marzano and the diced tomatoes together with all their juices.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Cook at a high simmer for about ten minutes.
- Puree the soup by transferring to a blender in small batches or use an immersion blender directly in the pan. (If using a regular blender, return the pureed soup to the pan.)
- Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the sour cream and tarragon.
- Garnish each with a dollop of sour cream and a little tarragon if desired.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on January 26, 2011. It has been updated with additional information.