It’s easy to make your own homemade tomato puree – use it in all your favorite soup, stews, and chili recipes!
Before you start thinking making homemade tomato puree is a total snooze-fest and decide to click right on past, let me explain. It may not be a glamorous recipe, but I decided to share it because so many wonderful things start with a simple tomato puree – warm, comforting soups, hearty batches of chili and delicious enchilada sauces are a few examples. Don’t simple, humble recipes like these deserve a moment in the spotlight? I think they do – especially this time of year. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling strong urges to make and freeze all sorts of soups, stews, and sauces right now. It must be some deep-seated survival gene reminding me that cold weather is coming so I better prepare by stocking our freezer now. Having homemade tomato puree on hand will make it that much easier to pull together a big pot of chili or pasta sauce or whatever else makes me happy and warm.
If you want to make it really simple you could just puree a bunch of tomatoes and call it a day, but that would also be really boring. I like to add a couple of other things like butter, celery, and onion to turn up the flavor and richness just a bit. However, I don’t flavor the puree with herbs or spices (including salt) that way it can be used in a variety of dishes that call for different kinds of seasonings.
When tomatoes are in season making puree is a great way to capture them at their peak to use months later. Since it’s no longer tomato season I used canned ones instead and recommend San Marzano tomatoes, which most major grocery stores carry. San Marzano tomatoes come from the Campania region near Naples, Italy and have the D.O.P designation, which means they are a protected product just like wine, cheese, and other regional specialty foods. They are a little pricier, but they make a better sauce than other canned varieties. They are sweeter, less acidic and more flavorful.
So, with all that said, here’s a super basic recipe that can lead to all kinds of glamorous deliciousness.
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This homemade tomato puree can be frozen and used in a variety of recipes. Use it to make tomato soup, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, or a base for chili. It’s versatile and easy to make!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano plum tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- In a stock pot melt the butter over medium-low heat
- Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 10 minutes (don’t let it brown)
- While the onion and celery are cooking, pour the tomatoes along with the juice into a medium bowl and break up them up using your hands (give them a good squish).
- Add the tomatoes and water to the onions and celery, stir to combine
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it starts to thicken.
- Puree the mixture until smooth. If using a regular counter-top blender, allow the puree to cool before blending.
- Store in the freezer until ready to use. I divide mine into 1 cup portions before freezing.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Sauces
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 26
- Sugar: 1.1g
- Sodium: 27.3mg
- Fat: 2g
- Saturated Fat: 1.2g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 2g
- Fiber: 0.7g
- Protein: 0.3g
- Cholesterol: 5.1mg
Keywords: homemade tomato puree