Monthly Archives: November 2012

Peeling Whole Fresh Tomatoes

Until recently, using “whole peeled tomatoes” exclusively meant the ones you find in a can.  Then recently I decided I was being a wuss and got to the bottom of it. Peeling whole fresh tomatoes couldn’t be easier and makes a huge difference in the flavor department, depending on the recipe. So if a recipe you come across says to peel fresh tomatoes, never fear! This is how you do it.

1. Core tomatoes and slice a superficial X on the bottom of each one like so:

2. Place each tomato into a pot of boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds, then immediately place in a bowl of ice water.  You now will be able to easily peel the skin away from the tomato, like so:

It’s that easy. In just a few minutes, you’ve got fully peeled, fresh tomatoes.

Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

I threw together this easiest soup ever last night in about 15 minutes before heading to a friend’s to pass out candy. Boy was I glad I had when I returned home this afternoon after chaperoning my stepdaughter’s school field trip to the zoo — five hours mostly outside in 40-degree weather! I paired it with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich and felt like I was her age back in my mom’s kitchen on a cold day.

• 1 c. celery, diced
• 1/2 c. yellow onion, diced
• 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 3, 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes (I grabbed a few different kinds — Italian herbs, roasted garlic, and fire roasted tomatoes. Use whatever you like!)
• 3/4 c. cream (of course, you could use regular whipping cream if you’re not vegan, but why when there are so many vegan creamers? I went with my favorite — So Delicious Coconut Creamer.)
• 3/4 c. water
• salt and pepper
• chopped fresh basil (the store was out, so I bought one of those squeezy bottles of organic basil. Worked for me!) Add to taste.

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat and cook diced onion and celery until softened.

2. Add cans of diced tomatoes and heat through.

3. Leave chunky or, like I did, grab your handy immersion blender and blend until it’s smoother, with not as many chunks (but not completely smooth).

4. Whisk in cream and water, season with salt and pepper and add basil to taste (I put in probably 2 Tbsp. of the basil paste).

5. Enjoy! It’s that easy.