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.
- 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
- Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to food processor.
- Puree the ingredients until almost smooth, leaving a little texture.
- 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.
- Refrigerate the soup for at least 2 hours until very well chilled; the flavors will develop as it sits.
- Season the gazpacho again with salt and pepper before serving. Serve in chilled bowls or tureen and top with desired garnishes.
- We love to top our with sliced avocado or hard boiled eggs.
This recipe is extremely allergy friendly, free of the Top 8 Allergens.
- Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
- Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
- Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
Have a wonderful and restful Labor Day Weekend. Cheers!