tarragon substitute?

I'm making Merrill's asparagus, yogurt and tarragon soup, and is usually the case, don't have any tarragon around. Any suggestions on a substitute taste note?

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff May 12, 2012

There's nothing that will be just like it. What DO you have and like?

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ChefOno
ChefOno May 12, 2012

Agreeing that nothing will be an exact match, and not having seen the recipe, anise and fennel, either the vegetable parts or the seeds would be a close match. Soaking a star anise pod in the soup will also get you there. All share the a similar flavor profile due to the chemical anethole, common to all.
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ChefOno
ChefOno May 12, 2012

Also:

Basil has a flavor somewhat similar. And a bit of ouzo would make an interesting experiment. The alcohol could extract flavors from the other ingredients that would otherwise be indiscernible or muted, like using brandy in a tomato sauce.
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rakozul
rakozul May 12, 2012

Ach, that's part of my problem, Greenstuff- I'm not very good at imagining different tastes together, and asparagus seems especially tricky. I can imagine that the tarragon would be delicious- maybe I will try ChefOno's suggestion ( I have fennel seeds and maybe an anise pod; thank you ChefOno). I like asparagus with lemon, so maybe just some lemon and more black pepper? I have ramps...a little bit of chopped ramps? Time to get myself a potted tarragon plant!

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff May 12, 2012

Asparagus and lemon are naturals, and your idea of lemon, pepper, and ramps is great. Other flavor mixes with asparagus aren't as obvious, and I don't think everyone would guess that tarragon would go so well.

If you get yourself a tarragon plant, be sure to get French tarragon, not Russian. Unless I've missed a major breakthrough, you can't grow it from seed.

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Maedl
Maedl May 12, 2012

I wonder how dill might work with asparagus. Might be interesting!

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