One-Pot Wonders

Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup

June 25, 2013
9 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I planted some herb pots last summer for the first time, and here's a light and fresh summer soup I made from my first crop. Tarragon and lemon pair perfectly with yellow squash, and some fresh-snipped chives round this out. You can serve this hot or cold and omit the dairy, if you wish. It's really a perfect summer soup! —anotherfoodieblogger

Test Kitchen Notes

How could you not make this soup? The recipe is straightforward, the ingredients simple and seasonal, and the color so lovely! It doesn't take long to make a quart of soup (which I tried both hot and cold), and it's a a very pleasant way to enjoy summer's harvest. Try blending in a medium potato, cooked, if you prefer a thicker soup. —susan g

What You'll Need
  • 1 large yellow summer squash, sliced and quartered, or chopped if preferred
  • 2 green onions (scallions), light green and white parts, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • Tarragon, snipped chives, shredded Parmesan cheese, and croutons, for garnish (optional)
  1. In a soup pot, sauté the squash and onion in the butter and olive oil until onion is tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute or so.
  2. Season with black pepper to taste, add the tarragon, then pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice and stir.
  3. Cover and bring to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is tender all the way through.
  4. Remove from heat and add the milk or cream. (Optional)
  5. Purée about half the soup with whatever device you have, then return to pot.
  6. Serve immediately, and garnish with additional tarragon, chives, shredded Parmesan cheese, and croutons, if you like. Or, you may chill and serve it cold.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • BarnOwlBaker
  • Futotta Neko
    Futotta Neko
  • cuceesprouts
  • anotherfoodieblogger

66 Reviews

Sweetkarma April 5, 2022
I also added coconut milk as another reviewer mentioned and it was delicious! Next time I will add fresh corn. I think the dish would benefit from a little natural sweetness that corn can bring.
Fresh sweet corn is a great idea!
BarnOwlBaker September 21, 2019
I first made this soup a few years back and now I make it every summer when our summer squash is ready to harvest! Have made it 4 times, so far, this summer/fall, using all of our garden ingredients, and a friend’s tarragon. I make it as written and sometimes add fresh corn if I have it. I think the delicate flavors of tarragon and fresh lemon juice are perfect with the summer squash! You can add more squash than recipe calls for if you have more to use up, as it purées into the broth making the soup creamy. I always reserve some of the sautéed veggies and add back to the finished soup; I have chives so I’ve always used that for a garnish, but think I might need to branch out a bit! Thank you for a delightful summer mainstay.
Annie July 24, 2018
I made this soup as an entree and added fresh sweet corn off the husk to it along with 3 summer squash. I also used a white onion instead because thats how all my grandmas make squash here in Arkansas. Squash and corn are abundant right now --- I will definitely enjoy making this again! Thank you for the wonderful recipe and inspiration!
Wow I love the addition of fresh sweet corn! Brilliant!
Alison July 11, 2018
I really liked this soup. Used homemade chicken stock and coconut milk to keep it dairy free. It's great.
Thanks Alison, glad you enjoyed it!
Emily T. July 21, 2017
Such a great summer soup! And versatile! I used the following replacements: homemade vegan butter, a whole white onion in place of the two green onions, homemade veg broth for the animal broth, and rice milk in place of the animal milk. I also added a med/large potato along with the squash and onions, and at the end pureed almost completely. Such great, fresh flavors. Thanks for the recipe.
anotherfoodieblogger August 12, 2017
Thank you so much for the great comment! Your take sounds wonderful.
Futotta N. March 11, 2016
I'm completely blown away by this soup. I picked up some reduced price fresh tarragon just to try using it for once, but I don't usually like aniseed and similar tastes. But this soup is s.p.e.c.t.a.c.u.l.a.r! One of the best I've ever tasted, and I'm a big soup fan. Thank you so much for this recipe!
anotherfoodieblogger March 11, 2016
Wow, thank you so much for the generous compliment!!! How very kind of you to let me know! :)
David May 20, 2015
I would note that this only serves 4 if used as an appetizer soup - if intended to be the main course, it results in 2 generous servings, maybe 3.

I prepared it using Roasted Onion Cream instead of dairy, which worked really well, but do be careful on the amount of lemon if you're doing that, since both the cream and the soup itself call for lemon juice.
anotherfoodieblogger September 29, 2015
Hi David,. somehow I missed your comment from many months ago. I think this is great feedback, thank you. We have a family of three of light eaters, I appreciate your comments!
Laura H. May 13, 2015
This soup is SOOO good! I made it without dairy and it's still so creamy (I pureed the entire pot). Totally recommend this as a way to make good use of all that summer squash.
Thank you Laura, I am so glad you enjoyed it so much!
Donna B. August 26, 2014
The soup is fantastic. How many calories is in it?
anotherfoodieblogger August 26, 2014
Hi Donna, thank you for your nice comment. I am afraid I do not have the calorie count for this dish, sorry!
cuceesprouts August 7, 2014
I have modified the recipe a bit. I replaced the milk with Greek yogurt that I add straight into the bowl

Here is my version of this recipe
anotherfoodieblogger August 7, 2014
Greek yogurt would be a lovely addition! And I also like that you added zucchini to your adaptation. Thank you for your comment!
Helen July 29, 2014
i added some curry powder just now to give it more flavour and that certainly helped. i saw someone mention adding parmesan, but i think that might be weird now for me with the addition of curry powder. :)
i would personally also add more garlic and use a whole onion next time.
thanks for sharing! it makes a good base to add things to!
anotherfoodieblogger August 6, 2014
Thank you Helen for all your comments and suggestions! All very tasty-sounding!
Helen July 29, 2014
forgot to mention you definitely need to add salt if your stock isn't salty enough, and also, i used all olive oil instead of butter.
Helen July 29, 2014
i made this today, substituting dill for the tarragon (and doubling the amount), and adding chives. i also didn't have green onion so used about half a large cooking onion which i softened before adding in the squash (i used green zucchini since they are growing in abundance in my garden right now!). the soup tastes okay and is definitely a summery soup due, but i didn't find it very exciting. maybe it will taste more exciting tomorrow when the flavours have more of a chance to blend.
Christine July 23, 2014
Do you think it would freeze well? I am getting a LOT of summer squash coming in now in the garden.
Yes, Christine. This soup freezes very well, with or without dairy. The only difference being that your squash may not end up being "chunky" if it breaks down in the reheat it, but that shouldn't matter to the taste. If you add dairy just don't let it boil. Thanks for the comment!
shoestringmama July 22, 2014
So yummy ... thank you for sharing. I omitted the milk at the end and it was still very yummy. Can't wait to make again!
Thank you shoestringmama for the nice compliment! I hear omitting the dairy works out just fine.
Kathleen July 17, 2014
I've been getting yellow summer squash from my friends and CSA box's lately and have been trying to vary the recipes to keep it interesting. Tried this soup today and really liked it. I loved the subtle lemon flavor. I also added some turmeric and parmesan cheese along with a small potato. Served with a crostini topped with homemade garam masala butter, a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh tarragon. It's a nice, light soup - great as a starter to my meal. I also author a blog of restaurant reviews and do some recipe testing at Thanks for your post, I will visit again:)
anotherfoodieblogger August 6, 2014
Oops somehow I missed your very nice comment awhile back. I am very glad you enjoyed this soup!
ruby L. July 8, 2014
i live in Texas where warm soups this time of year don't fly well.....think this would work well as a chilled soup?
Hi ruby, I do think this would work as a chilled soup given that milk is typically refrigerated. Instead of serving immediately, just place in the fridge until chilled.
acecil July 7, 2014
I made a double recipe and it was delicious. Definitely needs a little thickening, I didn't have any potato so used some white beans and blended them with the soup. This is going to be keeper for sure!!
Thank you Anita! White beans would be a great thickener.
lemons July 6, 2014
Am I missing something? Are you chopping or slicing the squash or just chunking it up? Peeled or not? Lemon (obviously) and tarragon both great faves so looking forward to this.
I guess I am missing that step, huh? I didn't peel the squash before cooking it, but I did slice it. I hope you enjoy it!
OK I edited the recipe, thank you.
jamesbwhite July 5, 2014
Absolutely fantastic! Totally elevates the humble yellow squash. Packed full of flavor and the texture is perfect. I also added a few tablespoons of greek yogurt.
Thank you! Greek yogurt sounds like a great addition.