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Stewed Tomatoes - A Family Feast

Stewed Tomatoes

A Few Notes: Once the tomatoes are peeled and seeded, the yield will be 2 quarts (64 ounces) including liquid. The hardest part of this recipe is preparing the tomatoes. Once they are done and the vegetables chopped, the cooking process is only 20 minutes. When this recipe is finished and cooled, it freezes very well in zip lock bags with all the air squeezed out. Depending on the type of plum tomatoes you have, some have few seeds and the skin is not that tough so if you wanted, you could just cut them into thick slices and leave the seeds and skin on. The larger tomatoes however do need to be skinned and seeded. Finally, this recipe can easily be cut in half or doubled depending on how many tomatoes you have. We list the total volume of the cleaned tomatoes in the event you wanted to make this using canned whole tomatoes in place of fresh. Cooking times would remain the same.

Yield: 3 quarts 1x
Prep: 45 minsCook: 20 minsTotal: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 5 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 pounds ripe large tomatoes, any variety
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups medium diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups medium diced celery
  • 3 cups medium diced bell pepper (green or red or a combination is fine)
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and stemmed and diced fine
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have a large bowl with ice water and a spider or strainer standing by. Also have a tray ready for when you remove the tomatoes from the ice bath.
  2. Pull the stem off each tomato and make an X on the bottom of each.
  3. A few at a time, drop the tomatoes into the boiling water. After a minute or so, you will see the skins pull away from the X. With the spider or strainer, remove to the ice bath and then to the waiting tray. Repeat for all tomatoes adding more ice as needed.
  4. Place the tray of tomatoes on your counter and have a bowl with a strainer and a second bowl standing by. One at a time, pull the skin and place in strainer. Hold the tomatoes over the strainer as you seed them. For Roma, dig into the sides and scrape the seeds out, letting the seeds fall into the strainer. Pull the green inner stem and place with the seeds. Place the meat of the tomato into the other bowl. For the large tomatoes, after skinning, cut them in half on the horizon and reach in each half and scrape out the seeds letting them fall into the strainer. Pull the green hard inner stem out and place with the seeds. Place the meat in the bowl with the Roma’s.
  5. Once all the tomatoes have been cleaned, squeeze the seeds and skin to get every last bit of juice or pulp through the strainer. Discard seeds and skin. The liquid in the bowl can now be added to the tomato meat in the other bowl. You should have about two quarts. There is no need to cut the tomatoes any further (the larger the better)
  6. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, place olive oil, onion, celery, bell peppers, jalapeno, parsley, basil, mint, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Sauté mixture for 10 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes, bring back up to a low boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes. (Try not to break up the tomatoes too much while stirring)
  8. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve, refrigerate for up to four days or freeze in zip lock bags for up to six months.

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