We have a friend that lives out in the country and has a farmer as a neighbor. This farmer has a booth at the State Farmer's Market and had a lot of tomatoes that were about to go bad. Over the weekend the last batch of tomatoes had to be pulled because of the impending deep freeze coming our way on Friday.
Our friend called Art and said he was on his way over with some tomatoes for us.
"Some tomatoes" ended up being four boxes and then some.
So what do you do with four boxes of ripe, beautiful tomatoes....
and a box of bell peppers?
I decided to split up the process. I used two boxes of tomatoes to make a simple marinara.
Barrett and I first peeled the two boxes of tomatoes.
To do that we dropped the tomatoes into boiling water a few at a time until the skins started cracking.
We then removed the tomatoes from the water and let them drain and cool on dish towels.
Once cooled, we pulled the skin off each tomato and put them into bowls.
We then cut up the tomatoes and placed them in large soup pots along with salt, pepper,
and tons of garlic.
We cooked all of this for hours until the tomatoes fell apart.
We added some of the chopped peppers and continue to simmer for several more hours until it was reduced and thick.
We let our sauce cool and then divided it into gallon freezer bags and laid the bags flat in our freezer that is in the garage.
The next day we tackled the other two boxes of tomatoes.
I make an awesome homemade tomato soup by roasting tomatoes in a low temperature oven for half a day and then transferring them to the stove into a soup pot and adding broth, cheese and other good stuff.
We decided to do the first step in the tomato soup recipe.
We cut up the two boxes of tomatoes,
two bulbs of garlic,
tossed it all heavily in olive oil, salt and pepper
and spread everything out onto sheet pans.
I roasted the tomatoes on 325' for about five hours, moving them around every thirty minutes.
I don't know if you have ever roasted tomatoes, if you haven't you should.
There is nothing like the smell of the tomatoes and garlic in the oven.
It makes a very sweet rustic base.
(A lot of times, this how I make tomato sauce to go on top of pasta and fish.)
On a few on the pans, I added some baby carrots and onions.
This just adds more flavor and depth to the tomato soup.
After all of the tomatoes were out of the oven and cooled, I put them all into bowls to make it easier to ladle into freezer bags.
I now have a shelf in my freezer stacked with tomato sauce and roasted tomatoes.
Bring on the snow days!
I am ready and you are invited!
I didn't take pictures of what I did with the peppers, but the next day I made three baking dishes of stuffed bell peppers. I stuffed them with ground turkey, brown rice, garlic, parm cheese, mushrooms and diced tomatoes.
I froze them in freezer/baking dishes - triple wrapped in foil. When I am ready to bake them I will top them with cheese.