Tuesday Dinner: Zucchini-Tarragon Soup

Zucchini-Tarragon Soup with Garlic-Mustard Croutons • Salad with Beets & Lentils • Levain Rolls • Lemon-Almond Cookies

Herbs are everywhere. The mint from my parents’ backyard smelled so good when I was making the salad dressing last week that I asked my dad to make me a mojito when I got back from my deliveries. At the market on Sunday, Adriana had piles of basil, which means that pesto production season has begun. This week, the soup takes advantage of my mom’s tarragon plant, which has come back to vibrant life after its winter dormancy. I don’t much like dried tarragon, so I can only make zucchini-tarragon soup for a few months each year; luckily, my mom’s plant really gets going at right about the time that zucchini is ripe. Isn’t nature wonderful that way? 

It’s a mellow and delicately flavored soup. I start by sweating onions in a mixture of butter and olive oil, so they get nice and sweet. Then I add eight tons of garlic and eight tons of tarragon—holy moly, what a delicious smell that makes, onion and garlic and tarragon and butter all together! There’s a little bit of potato in there to thicken it, and that creamy richness isn’t from dairy, it’s from blended cashews. (This would actually be a very good vegan soup without the butter, but sometimes butter is the right decision.) Speaking of butter, I made some of those garlic-mustard croutons to go with. Yum.

I got to the market just in time to nab a dozen and a half heads of Adriana’s lettuce; there are two kinds in the salad today, Little Gem and red butter. The beets came from Adriana, too. I added some heft to the salad this week, with some French lentils. I tossed them with some of the mustard-y, shallot-y vinaigrette while they were still warm, so they soak up all those flavors. 

The dessert today is in honor of things I’m missing during quarantine. I miss Fairfax Scoop! We’re getting Scoop ice cream delivered every other week (chocolate and coconut fudge will be waiting when I get back from deliveries this evening), so I don’t miss their actual product. But I miss being there, I miss running into people I know and chatting while we wait in line, I miss hanging out on the benches outside, eating ice cream from a cone. Lemon-almond is my brother’s favorite Scoop flavor, which was the inspiration for the cookie flavor today, because I miss my family. Dave and Kate usually drive up every couple of months from San Diego, but I haven’t seen them since Christmas. My sister Kelly and her family had to cancel their April visit to California. (None of Kelly’s favorite ice cream flavors translate so easily to cookie form.) I really really hope that we can all see each other this summer. 

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