Small backyards have their upsides. It’s mid-October and lucky for me my little backyard with it’s close privacy fence, trees and the back of my house, has done a wonderful job shielding my garden from any cold that might have threatened it in a larger backyard.
As a result I still have lots of vegetables growing away. Tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, even basil and chives. I decided to use the growing pile of ripe tomatoes and beautiful basil leaves from a recent harvest to make homemade tomato soup last week. Usually I make my tomato soup with canned dices tomatoes but I just couldn’t resist using my lovely little homegrown guys for my soup this time.
As I was getting my ingredients ready I realized that a lot of people probably used canned tomatoes for most of their cooking since canned tomatoes are so easy to find and easy to use. Buy can. Open can. Dump tomatoes in pot. Done.
The issue with using fresh tomatoes in sauces, soups and more is skin. The skin of the tomato to be exact. Tomato skins do now puree well and sometimes end up floating around in your dish as a chewy addition to bites of deliciousness.
For this reason I feel it is my duty to share with you how very, very simple peeling fresh tomatoes really is. Am I saying you always need to peel tomatoes instead of buying canned tomatoes? No. I like I said, I use canned tomatoes too. I’m just giving you information so the next time you are fixing a big pot of soup or sauce you will have the option to peel and use fresh tomatoes.
I would suggest that you try this at least once. I think you’ll really enjoy the super fresh tomato flavor you get.
Step one: Bring a pot of water to a boil. The size of the pot and the amount of water needed depend on how many tomatoes you are peeling.
Step two: Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about half way with cold water and then adding a layer of ice to the bowl.
Step four: Gently place your tomatoes into the boiling water. Leave the tomatoes in the water for about 10-15 seconds. This step is to loosen the skins from the tomatoes so just a short time is need in the water.
Step five: Remove the tomatoes from the pan into your ice bath to stop the tomatoes from cooking further.
Step six: One tomato at a time starting at the bottom of the tomato peel the skin off of the tomato. We scored little X’s into the bottom of each tomato in order to have easy spots to start peeling.
Step seven: Continue peeling tomatoes until each tomato is fully peeled.
Step eight: Celebrate your victory over tomato skins by enjoying your peeled tomatoes in soups, stews, sauces, salsas or whatever you have a hankering for.