Carrot and Tarragon Soup (Yet Another "Laughably Cheap" Recipe!)

You could easily pay $9.00 for an appetizer-size serving of this delicious soup in some trendy Manhattan restaurant. It would probably arrive in one of those annoying one-inch deep bowls.

But we're going to make this soup at home, serve it in a normal bowl, and we're going to do it for around three bucks for the entire pot. Which means this soup runs about 45-50c a serving, making it a front-runner for one of our most laughably cheap recipes here at Casual Kitchen.

People who say healthy food has to cost a lot simply have no clue.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Carrot and Tarragon Soup
Heavily adapted and simplified from Laurel's Kitchen

6-7 carrots, peeled, cut into large 2-3” chunks
2-3 potatoes, peeled, cut into large 2-3” chunks
Water to cover

2-3 Tablespoons butter (or olive oil or canola oil)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 generous teaspoon dried tarragon
2 cups milk
2-3 cups water
1/2 cup white table wine
1/4 teaspoon black pepper and optional salt to taste

1) Peel carrots and potatoes, chop into 2-3” chunks, and cover with water in a 4 quart pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender/al dente, about 20 minutes.

2) While carrots and potatoes are simmering, chop onions and add to a large soup pot with butter and dried tarragon. Saute onions for 10 minutes or so on medium heat until soft. Let stand.

3) When carrots and potatoes are cooked, drain and transfer to a food processor or blender in (roughly) three batches. With each batch, add about a third of both the 2-3 cups each of the milk and water. Puree until smooth, then transfer puree to soup pot and combine with the onions/tarragon. Add any of the remaining water and milk to the soup pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5-7 minutes or so. Add black pepper and optional salt if desired.

Serves 6-7 as a main dish.

Two recipe notes:
1) Let's itemize the cost of this laughably cheap recipe:

Butter/oil 15c
Onions 40c
Carrots 60c
Potatoes 40c
Milk 65c
Cheap box white wine 75c
Spices 10c
Total Cost: about $3.05 or about 45-50c per serving

2) Second, thinking about a snotty Manhattan restaurant serving $9 soups in one-inch deep bowls reminds me of Aesop's fable of the fox and the stork.

3) Finally, a few related links for new readers:

a) The 25 Best Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen
b) MORE! Top 25 Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen
c) Ten Healthy Recipes for Under $1 a Serving
d) Glossary of Casual Kitchen Memes


Karin said...

I'd like to try this. So the onions are not pureed into the soup? And why bother peeling the carrots?

Daniel said...

Hi Karin, you're correct: the onions are not pureed into the soup.

And if you want to skip peeling the carrots, feel free. :)


Karin said...

Now I'm really curious -- the internet confirms that peeling carrots is generally unnecessary, although some find the taste of the peels to be unbearably bitter. Is this the case for you?

If not, seems like peeling carrots that are destined to be pureed is a waste of both time and food. :)

Daniel said...

I can't say I've tried it that way. ;) If you make it without peeling the carrots, please let me know how it comes out! I'm guessing it won't make much of a difference, as long as you wash the carrots very well.


Belden Industrial Cables said...

Amazing and easy recipe. I'd suggest dicing your carrots and onions small so they cook evenly and faster. I added a little more chicken stock and ginger, perfect soup!