Photo: Mutato #23,  © Uli Westphal

Photo: Mutato #23, © Uli Westphal

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato

March was tomato month in the TBYW kitchen! During the last weeks, our menu consisted of a variety of tomato dishes: tomato soup, tomato rice, tomato salsa, tomato sauce, tomato salad… you name it, we made it!

Here are some recipes that all are about tomatoes:

Tomato soup

Soup might seem like an obvious choice, but there are many reasons why you should make it. You can almost never go wrong with soup; it is simple, and there are many variations you could try.  Also, as mentioned before, it is a perfect taste-before-you-waste way to use the tomatoes that are not so firm and shiny anymore.

  1. Clean and roughly chop the tomatoes
  2. Fry some onions and garlic in a soup pot
  3. Add tomatoes and boil down till it gets all fragrant and nice. Add water (or broth) if needed.
  4. Add vegetable broth, salt, and pepper for seasoning
  5. Blend

This is your base. From here you can start to experiment with  flavour and texture by adding spices, other vegetables or cream.

Here are some ideas to get you going

  • For a Mediterranean twist: Add spices such as bay leaves, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Add some crème fraîche and top with fresh basil.
  • Go Moroccan!: Add a mix of ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon and ras el hanout spice mix. You can also add lentils or chick peas for a thicker, filling soup. Top with feta cheese and fresh coriander or parsley.
  • For a Thai dish: Leave out the garlic and fried onion. Add red curry paste and fry for a minute. Add tomatoes, 2 kaffir lime leaves, a crushed lemon grass stalk (you can keep both in the freezer), and some water and let it all boil. Remove the lime leaves and lemon grass and blend. Add a can of coconut milk, lime juice, and some soy sauce. Add vegetables such as bean sprouts, sugar snaps etc. You can also add chilli peppers and ginger. Top with Thai basil or fresh coriander.
  • Try a Tomato Paprika Soup: Fry bell peppers with the tomatoes. Spice it any way you want.
  • Remember that cream is always yummy with tomatoes! For a creamy vegan soup, try soya cuisine, rice cuisine, or coconut cream
  • Add toppings such as cheese, fresh herbs, and croutons
  • For a tomato sauce, you can follow similar steps; however, don’t add water, and remove some if sauce is too liquid (we did this the other day in the kitchen, and serve the tomato liquid as a very light tomato soup). Add fried vegetables to add texture and flavour.
  • Try a Greek tomato rice: Dice a large onion and a finely cut a garlic clove, and fry them in olive oil. Add 250 mL vegetable broth and 250g diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add 80g rice. Cook the rice as long as prescribed on the package (by Kiki: https://lekkerzonderdier.wordpress.com).
  • Make a Tomato salsa: Dice tomatoes, (red) onion, garlic, very finely and toss. Add lemon or lime juice, fresh coriander/parsley/mint, salt, pepper, and chili pepper for some spice. Serve with bruschetta made from old bread.
  • We made tomato mango salsa the other day. Simply add some finely diced mango to the mix. It looks beautiful, and tastes exotic and amazing.

That was it for tomatoes for now, though I’m sure they will return to our kitchen very soon 🙂

By Heleen Prins

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