Now that tomato season is here, it’s time to share some of our favorite recipes to use up all of these lovely red + yellow friends.
Yesterday we canned 7 quarts of tomato chunks (technically they are called stewed tomatoes) and today we’re working on tomato juice. There is no better smell than opening up a fresh jar of tomatoes from the garden on February 26th – right in the middle of “is winter almost over, I may actually need Xanax to get me though the next 3 months of darkness in the mid-west” season.
The kids love canning tomatoes and it teaches them some good lessons about food, and why we continue to can vegetables today.  We come from middle class, hard-working families where canning was a necessity when we were kids.  Being able to afford lots of fresh produce was a luxury we didn’t have. So we made our own. Little did we know it would be a life lesson we would pass on to our own kids one day.
Canning food:

  • acts as a good reminder for where our food comes from
  • how important gardening/farming is
  • the role of weather and water
  • how to care for a garden, plants and the Earth (something besides yourself)
  • teaches patience (watching a small tomato plant grow into a 7 foot weedy monster is incredible, and takes MONTHS)
  • how lucky we are to live in a country where we have an endless amount of food to choose from an array of markets and stores.

Funny quotes from the kids:

  • “Look, band-aids Mama.  I’m taking off his band-aids.”  — Carter after blanching + peeling
  • “I’m taking out his monster guts.” — Chloe on seeding tomatoes
  • “It’s like I’m carving a mini-pumpkin.” — Carter on chopping tomatoes
  • “Can we make more Gazpacho next?” — Chloe

The Gazpacho recipe is easy, and you can make it in your food processor or large blender. If you’re batching it, I guess a nutri-bullet would work too.
Gazpacho is chilled tomato soup. It’s amazing. If you haven’t had any, you must try some. In the Milwaukee area, I recommend Beans and Barley on North Ave + Farwell.  In Madison, check out Zoup! on Greenway Boulevard.
Keehn Family Gazpacho

  • 2 pounds vine-ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 small kirby cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato juice (we use Campbell’s Tomato Juice)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar (1/4 cup balsamic + 1/4 cup rice wine is a substitute if you don’t have sherry wine!)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to food processor.
  2. Puree the ingredients until almost smooth, leaving a little texture.
  3. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large bowl; stir in the tomato juice, sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, parsley, and lemon juice until well combined.
  4. Refrigerate the soup for at least 2 hours until very well chilled; the flavors will develop as it sits.
  5. Season the gazpacho again with salt and pepper before serving. Serve in chilled bowls or tureen and top with desired garnishes.
  6. We love to top our with sliced avocado or hard boiled eggs.

This recipe is extremely allergy friendly, free of the Top 8 Allergens.

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Peanuts
  4. Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  5. Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
  6. Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
  7. Soy
  8. Wheat

Have a wonderful and restful Labor Day Weekend. Cheers!