Cream Of Broccoli Tarragon Soup
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 med onion,diced
2 cup broccoli stalks,peeled and sliced
4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp flour
2 cup milk
1/2 Tbsp dried tarragon or 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon
Soup Base: In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat. Do not allow it to boil. While the milk is slowly heating, in a large pan or kettle (about 4 quart minimum) saute the onion and broccoli slices in 1 Tbsp butter until the onion becomes soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Then off heat, and use a blender or preferably a hand-held blender to puree the soup. Add the tarragon and allow the soup to simmer over low heat.
Bechamel Sauce for thickening: In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, melt the 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and continue to stir for 2 minutes to cook it thoroughly. Do not allow it to brown. Whisk in the hot milk slowly. Be careful, for it will boil at once. Continue to whisk as it bubbles for one minute until it is smooth and free of lumps. Remove from heat and whisk into the soup. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the soup coats a spoon lightly. Correct seasoning and serve. You can garnish with sprigs of fresh tarragon or with broccoli flowerets. May be served hot or cold.