So you've grown 300,000 tomatoes...now what?

By Victoria Fuller

We have all been there, so we decided to plant “a few” tomato plants back at the beginning of the garden season and before we could say “holy soup!” the garden has been completely taken over and there are enough tomatoes to fully stock the La Tomatina festival in Spain. So now we come to the pressing question at hand: exactly what should I do with all of these tasty fruits? Well today we are here to offer you a healthy helping of inspiration and advice to make the most of your well-earned haul! Here are a few ideas of things to do with your delicious haul:

Freeze them

Maybe you need some time to think, after all committing to a tomato-based activity is a big deal and should not be taken lightly, if this sounds like you then we suggest freezing them! Tomatoes do not need to be blanched before freezing and they can be frozen raw, cooked, sliced, pureed or whole! Tomatoes have a shelf-life of 7 days on the countertop, 14 days in the fridge, and they remain in peak condition for 3 months after being frozen! You can absolutely freeze them for longer than this but their quality will diminish the longer they are frozen. You can freeze your tomatoes in Ziplock baggies or reusable Tupperware containers.

Make Soup

Here is a tried and tested recipe for you to give a go:

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 3½ cups)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 12 whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted add the chopped onions and cook over medium heat (stirring occasionally), until soft and clear. Make sure not to brown the onions, reduce the heat if this begins to happen! Add the minced garlic and cook for a few minutes more, stirring all the while to make sure that the garlic does not burn. Add the flour and keep stirring for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the sugar, thyme, 1¼ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper, tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat all while stirring to ensure that the flour is not getting stuck to the bottom or sides of the pot. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until very smooth. Try your soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Now your soup is ready to be served! Add parmesan cheese, croutons, or basil if you so desire!

Remember your old friend Pinterest!

Pinterest is a brilliant resource for finding recipes and ideas, especially when it comes to specific ingredients! Besides soups other dishes that you could find ideas for include (but are certainly not limited to!):

Marinara Sauce

Enchilada Sauce

Pizza Sauce

Ketchup

Salsa

Caprese Salad

We hope that we’ve given you some tomato-based inspiration, once you get started you won’t be able to stop and you’ll rue the day that you gave away about 300 tomatoes…those could have been soup!


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