Recipe: Tomato Tarragon Soup from The Bijou Cafe (Sarasota, FL)

Photo by Fred Bollaci.

The Bijou Café

1287 First Street

Sarasota, FL 34236

(941) 366-8111


Sarasota’s Bijou Café has been a local landmark for fine Continental dining in the heart of Sarasota’s theater and arts district since 1986. Chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs and wife, Shay, have owned and operated the Bijou since its inception and oversee every detail from the excellent cuisine (duck and rack of lamb are two signature dishes) to the quaint, yet modern setting with French windows and doors, fresh flowers, and soft candlelight. The cuisine reflects Jean-Pierre’s French and South African heritage, and many of his recipes were developed and refined as he traveled the world as chef aboard a luxurious private yacht. Bijou is extremely popular for pre-theater dinner, and serves lunch weekdays.


Recipes courtesy of J. P. Knaggs, Bijou Café. 

Chilled Tomato-Tarragon Soup

Phases 2-4 (*See Note)

Serves six



1 medium onion, finely diced

2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter

zest of 1 very ripe orange

4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes (or good quality canned)

1 cup good quality tomato juice

4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (or good quality not from concentrate)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

salt and white pepper, to taste

orange slices and tarragon sprigs for garnish

Note: you can add a garnish of lobster meat, crab meat, or shrimp to customize it at home.


  1. Sauté the onion lightly in the butter; do not allow it to brown.
  2. Add the orange zest and stir well.
  3. In a large nonaluminum pot or stockpot, combine the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Bring almost to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Puree with an immersion blender or let cool and puree in batches in a blender. Chill for several hours before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh sprigs of tarragon and very thin slices of unpeeled orange.


Nutrition Facts (by serving)
Calories 167
Calories from fat 28%
Fat (grams) 5
Saturated fat (grams) 3
Cholesterol (milligrams) 13
Carbohydrates (grams) 29
Protein (grams) 3
Sodium (milligrams) 49
Fiber (grams) 3


Note: this is a great soup in Phases 2-4, but not Phase 1, because of the butter (which can be reduced)

About Fred Bollaci

I'm CEO and President of Fred Bollaci Enterprises. I lost more than 100 pounds while living "La Dolce Vita" and I'm now known as "The Healthy Gourmet." Sample the good life with me through fitness, fine food, and good wine. Meet chefs who cater to a healthy gourmet lifestyle through my Golden Palate blog.
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