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Cooking With Tomatoes

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 16 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Cooking With Tomatoes

Do something different with tomatoes! When they’re in season, tomatoes are cheap and luscious; so stock up and enjoy them while they’re good. Try our recipes for fresh tomato bruschetta and creamy tomato soup.

Ideas for a Tomato Glut

Got a glut of tomatoes? Lucky you! Put them to the very best use by trying some of our recipes:

Recipe: Tomato Bruschetta (for ripe, sweet tomatoes)

Because Bruschetta involves raw tomatoes, it’s vital to choose the ripest, sweetest ones you can find. If your tomatoes are big, old, or ugly, make them into soup instead – using our favourite recipe below!

  • 250g small tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 75g basil, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 French stick or Ciabatta, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive oil

Put the tomatoes into a bowl with the spring onions and season with the sugar, vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside on a sunny windowsill if possible, to blend the flavours.

When you’re ready to eat, toast the bread slices under a grill or using a griddle pan. Peel the garlic clove and cut it in half. Rub the cut side over each bread slice, and drizzle with olive oil. Put a spoonful of tomato mixture on each slice and serve immediately.

Recipe: Tomato Soup (for all kinds of tomato)

Rich and roasted, smooth and herby, or full of chunky veg… Everyone has a favourite type of tomato soup – and if you love the sweet, creamy, tinned sort, we think you’ll love this home-cooked version.

  • 750g large tomatoes
  • 2dstsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 100ml whole milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Croutons or single cream, to garnish

First, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Halve the tomatoes horizontally and arrange, cut sides up, on a roasting tray. Sprinkle the sugar carefully over the tomatoes. Roast for 40mins- 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are starting to blacken at the edges.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the onion, celery and carrot. Cover and cook over a low heat until they are tender. Tip in the vegetable stock and bring to a gentle simmer; then scrape in the roasted tomatoes and juices from the tin. Simmer for 5 minutes to combine the flavours. Cool slightly before pouring the mixture into a blender and adding the milk. Liquidize until smooth and pour the soup through a sieve back into the pan. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm with a swirl of single cream, or a few crunchy croutons.

Recipe: Tomato Gazpacho (for ripe, sweet tomatoes)

Gazpacho is served chilled and, because all the vegetables are raw, it’s a rich source of vitamins. Scoop out the seeds from your tomatoes for a silky-smooth finish.

  • 1kg tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 250g day-old bread
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 30ml white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil and basil, to garnish

Put everything except for the seasoning and garnishes into the blender, and liquidize thoroughly until smooth, adding more stock if necessary. Set aside for an hour or two so the flavours can blend, then taste for seasoning – you may need to add more sugar if the tomatoes were acidic.

Chill thoroughly and serve the soup with an ice-cube in each bowl, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh basil.

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