Every time we order a bushel of fruit from the farm we always get to the point where we have fruit left but can’t figure out what to make with it. So it was with the tomatoes. These were not romas so I didn’t want to just can them but I needed the tomatoes for the August can jam — romas won’t be ready until September probably — which is why I ordered the bushel in the first place. Barbecue sauce was done, one round — I’ll do another round with the romas — of pasta sauce was done, ketchup was even done on a whim. Still, almost 8 pounds of tomatoes left. So I started scrounging the cookbooks. It seemed like tomato soup was the best bet except neither Papa or I really like tomato soup. Then I found a recipe for garden vegetable soup from the cookbook Putting Up: A Seasonal Guide to Canning in the Southern Tradition but we don’t really like okra or lima beans. However, we do like bell peppers and black beans and with the corn called for in the recipe that’s starting to sound like the beginning of tortilla soup. I was sure I could sub out the lemon juice for lime and add cilantro instead of basil. It sounded like a great plan.
Perhaps it was too good to be true. I did end up with a soup that I’m sure we’ll enjoy this winter but I have never stuck more pH strips in a boiling pot before today. I could not get that pH low enough without an extreme amount of lime juice and citric acid. I still have to do the final pH test to make sure the 4 quarts I got are shelf stable. Otherwise they’ll be going in the freezer which as I’ve mentioned before is getting very full.
FRUIT: almost 8 lbs of celebrity tomatoes
SOURCE: CSA farm
RECIPE: Garden Vegetable Soup from Putting Up: A Seasonal Guide to Canning in the Southern Tradition
YIELD: 4 quarts, and a half-pint tester jar