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Using up almost -overripe tomatoes?

SuB's picture

The lovely 2" organic petite tomatoes I bought at the farmer's market are on the verge; they look fine and the skins are intact but they have soft spots.   I don't eat raw tomatoes - can't stand 'em, never have - but DH loves them so I buy them for him.  I have no way to judge whether these are still good or not - he says these taste okay but a bit over-ripe for eating plain. 


I'm wondering if it would be okay to use them to make a quick tomato soup or pasta sauce?  What do all you tomato-loving gardeners do with your good-but-not-stellar tomatoes?  I hate to waste them.  


Do I have to peel them to make soup?  Must I strain out the seeds? 


Can you believe I've never made tomato soup in my life?  Go ahead and laugh, then tell me what you would do in this situation.


Thanks...


 


 



Cheers, Sue B.


The older I get, the better I was.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

DianeGaye's picture

(post #36529, reply #1 of 21)

When I have tomatoes that get a bit over ripe, I just stick them in the freezer and use them for cooking whenever I need some. Also, my favorite tomato soup : Chop up 2 leeks, 2 branches celery, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic in a little olive oil. Add about a kilogram of tomates (raw or canned, no difference) and about 1  or 1 1/2 liters water, pinch salt, pinch cayenne if you like it, idem basil. Simmer about 30 minutes. Blend in blender. If you like it really smooth (like me), push it through a seive. Taste and rectify seasoning. You can add 1 cup cream, fresh basil or other herb, minced garlic, serve with croutons if you like them. This soup freezes really well.

SuB's picture

(post #36529, reply #3 of 21)

Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing your recipes.  I ended up making the attached recipe for tomato soup with smoked paprika and coconut milk, which was super-easy and really good.  Will try yours next.  I had no idea how easy and delicious tomato soup could be!  DH loved it.


Cheers, Sue B.


The older I get, the better I was.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

PreviewAttachmentSize
TOMATO_SOUP_with_SPANISH_SMOKED_PAPRIKA.doc20 KB
Gretchen's picture

(post #36529, reply #4 of 21)

Man, I can't wait to make that!! Thanks

Gretchen

Gretchen
ouzo's picture

(post #36529, reply #7 of 21)

I made your recipe a few nights ago.  It is great - a keeper for sure. The only tweak it needed was to bump up the salt to about 1 1/4 teaspoon.  I used unsalted homemade stock and tomatoes from the garden which probably accounts for the additional salt.


Last night I made the tomato fennel potate soup from the back of FC#91 - another very tasty soup. 



ingredients

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. fennel seed, coarsely crushed or ground in a spice grinder
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut into small dice (about 2 cups; save some fronds for optional garnish)
1 large leek (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
1 Tbs. Pernod (optional)
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped (reserve the juice)
1 medium red or yellow potato, peeled and cut into medium dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


how to make


tip
This soup can be puréed in the blender for a velvety version of the original. Be sure to work in small batches and crack the blender lid slightly (or remove the center cap from the lid). Steam can build up once you start blending, and if the lid is on tight or the blender is overfilled, it will spray hot soup all over you and your kitchen. For protection, cover the top with a dishtowel while puréeing.


In a nonreactive 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the fennel seed and cook until fragrant and lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Add the fennel bulb, leek, and Pernod (if using) and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.


Add the broth, tomatoes, and potato. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chunky or purée in a blender. If you purée the soup and it is too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds, if desired.



From Fine Cooking 91, pp. back cover

January 16, 2008

 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

SuB's picture

(post #36529, reply #14 of 21)

I'm very pleased that you liked the soup - I think it's a good one and a great recipe for tweaking to suit your ingredients and inclination. 


I made a second batch a couple days ago using hot smoked paprika, a whole onion, a rib of celery, and only 1/2C. coconut milk.   I liked it as much or more than the first batch, the hot paprika was very tasty.


The FC version sounds really good too - and it might just be the perfect way to introduce DH to fennel.  Will try that one next.  Thanks for sharing!



Cheers, Sue B.


The older I get, the better I was.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

kathymcmo's picture

(post #36529, reply #8 of 21)

I also made the smoked paprika tomato soup and just had my first bowl, it is very tasty, Had a small grilled cheese sandwich with tomato to go with it. Yummmm


 


Thanks for the recipe!

MadMom's picture

(post #36529, reply #9 of 21)

I have the opposite question.  What about tomatoes which haven't turned red yet, and we are about to get into some really cold weather.  My DH wants to cut down the plant, but I'll just let him obsess about that for a while.  In the meantime, should I leave them on the vine as long as possible, or pick them to make fried green tomatoes?  Some are pretty small, and may be hard as a rock.  Any guidelines or advice?



Not One More Day!
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ouzo's picture

(post #36529, reply #10 of 21)

I tried leaving mine on the vine until just yesterday in the hopes that they would ripen a bit more.  For me, it didn't work.  Night time lows were around 40 and it rained a lot.  Some of them just rotted.  If I'd picked those two weeks ago, I would have at least had semi ripe tomatoes.  The heat is what is going to help them ripen and sweeten a bit more.  At these latitudes, and this close to the water, that's not going to happen for me. 


For yours, it's probably best to get them off the vine now and start making green tomato recipes. 


 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

Gretchen's picture

(post #36529, reply #11 of 21)

You can pick them and let them ripen on the counter just as well. With the cool night temps, they will take a while outside. We still have a few that are trying valiantly to turn red.


Or make some green tomato jam with some of them. But they will definitelyripen inside.


Gretchen
Gretchen
MadMom's picture

(post #36529, reply #12 of 21)

DH and I had one of our daily arguments about this.  He claimed his mother always bought green tomatoes and let them ripen on the window sill.  So, he picked one of my tomatoes, and it never did ripen.  (I usually just respond by saying to him, "But dear, you know your mother couldn't cook.")



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Gretchen's picture

(post #36529, reply #13 of 21)

If it got too cold, it might not. I have bought SO many green tomatoes this summer to do "green" things with and end up with doing "red" things with them. DMIL wrapped green tomatoes in newspaper at frost time and kept them in the basement, bringing them out periodically to ripen on the counter. She ahd tomatoes until T'giving.


Gretchen
Gretchen
soupereasy's picture

(post #36529, reply #15 of 21)

I read somewhere, that once the tomato was off the vine, it would not continue to ripen,?


Just asking.;)

Gretchen's picture

(post #36529, reply #16 of 21)

Is this that same discussion we had about peaches.  I can take pictures if you want, but I DO have first hand evidence that they turn from green to red--inedible as sliced to edible as sliced. I call that ripening.  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
ouzo's picture

(post #36529, reply #17 of 21)

Once removed from vine they won't sweeten (ie more sugar), but they do soften, change color, etc.  This is what I believe anyway.  I'll be corrected soon ;-)


In years past, I've brought green tomatoes in the house in the late fall while they were still attached to the vine.  I've hung the vines in the basement and the tomatoes have turned red.  DM used to put green tomatoes on the kitchen window sill and they turned red.  In either case, these tomatoes have been better than anything purchased at the grocery store.


 


 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

Gretchen's picture

(post #36529, reply #18 of 21)

Whatever!  I just wonder what these red sweet tomatoes I am eating are then-that have come from sour green tomatoes that I didn't get to use for that purpose.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Cissytoo's picture

(post #36529, reply #21 of 21)

Any guidelines or advice?


When we lived in NY, we harvested all of the tomatoes, no matter what color they were, as soon as the first frost was due.  We wrapped them individually in newspapers, and sorted them by how ripe they were. 


They will ripen in the newspapers, just check the ones that were closest to ripe first.  They won't taste as good as they did in the summer, when you picked them just before eating, but they're better than the "cardboard" ones you get at the store.

Heather's picture

(post #36529, reply #2 of 21)

I made a batch of tomato paste today with 10 pounds of overripe tomatoes--I'm guessing you don't have that many. ;-)

You can make some great soup with them. I don't happen to like seeds and skins in my soup so I put it through a food mill. They'd be fine for pasta sauce too.

Rich02's picture

(post #36529, reply #5 of 21)

Had the same problem with some Ca donated tomatoes-  Ripen too much- slice and Olive oil in foil pan- parm and S&P blast in oven until you really think they are over done and then put on top of good italian or french bread with the juice that ensues. Rich

It's not what you say or what you do- it's how you make people feel

We did what we did when we knew what we knew, now that we know better, we should do the better thing.   Maya Angelou

SuB's picture

(post #36529, reply #6 of 21)

That sounds good, too.  Thanks!


Cheers, Sue B.


The older I get, the better I was.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

PeteDraganic's picture

(post #36529, reply #19 of 21)

Sautee some onions, add tomatoes (crushed and seeded) and some basil... then a bit of balsamic.  cook until all is nice and tender and toss with pasta.... angel hair is my favorite.


Disclaimer, i haven't made this in awhile so I may be missing something... feel free to modify as needed.


This will have a sweet yet savory flavor... very good.




 


I refuse to accept that there are limitations to what we can accomplish.        Pete Draganic


 


Take life as a test and shoot for a better score each day.          Matt Garcia

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bonnieruth's picture

(post #36529, reply #20 of 21)

I followed the advice about pulling the tomato plants up by the roots and hanging them upside down in the basement, and the fruit has turned red very nicely.  I also had several green tomatoes that fell off the plants in this process, and they have turned red on the counter. I was away for a week, and some got almost over-ripe, but the ones on the vines are perfect. These are Cherokee purples and so sweet that even when picked green, they are sweeter than most vine-ripened tomatoes.  I can't stand sour, so never try to do anything with green tomatoes except ripen them.  The green ones I still have left I will wrap in newspaper and try to save for Thanksgiving or later.  After hearing that tip from Gretchen, I heard it from one of my sisters, who said her DMIL kept tomatoes that way clear through the winter.  I will keep everyone informed.