Friday, September 26, 2014

African Peanut Soup

If you like peanut butter and a bit of spice, this is a great way to get both.  High in vitamin C and the nuts give a protein boost.  This is a soup I just love!

  • 1 tsp veg oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp grated pealed ginger root (optional)
  • 1 c chopped carrots
  • 4 c vegetable stock or water
  • 2 c chopped sweet potatoes
  • 2 c tomato juice
  • 1 c smooth peanut butter
  • 1 c scallions or chives
Heat oil and saute onions till soft. Stir in cayenne and ginger. Add carrots and saute 3 minutes.

Mix in potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until veggies are tender.

Puree in blender or in the pan with immersion blender. Return to pan and add peanut butter.

Once blended test for salt and sweetness.  You can add sugar/agave/honey if you like.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Canning Thick Tomato Sauce QUICK

Canning tomatoes is no simple task. Below is the way to get the thickest tomato product with the least amount of cooking. Why go thick?  Well, you can always add water later when you cook with it, you need less jars (which cost money) and you need less shelf space for all those jars.

Start with fresh tomatoes that you rinse well in your sink.

 Remove any green stems that you have and cut into bite sized chunks. No need to peel and core when using a food strainer!

They must be bite sized to fit in the Squeezo, Victorio, or other food mill you are using.

You can cut the tops off and have your kids sqeeze the tomatoes over a bucket expressinging water and seeds before cutting if you are so inclined.  They love it!

 Place the cut pieces into a colander over a bucket or pot while you process more.  This lets the water drain.

You can see the drained juices after lifting the colander here.

Process the tomatoes through your food mill.  This is the Victorio. I love it!  It has made processing so much faster.
Tomatoes in the top, paste out the bottom seeds and skins out the side.

No more boiling, icing, peeling and cooking off excess water collected during the peeling process!  Just tomato sauce with no coring or peeling! It's $57.00 on Amazon.

Only fill the top half full to make feeding the Victorio easier. Switch arms on the crank or have you kids take turns.

Avoid food strainers that suction down.  Get one that screws to your counter top.

At this point you can add them to the pot, however I use a sieve that sits over a large baking dish to strain even MORE water out.  Some of you will argue that you want to cook that goodness down, and I feel you, but this gets me thick paste that I simply heat and process.

You can see it reducing here.  You can can the water as tomato juice for drinking, feed to livestock, toss it, cook it down for soup....

Keep adding your batches to your nonreactive pot as you process that day.  Stir as you go to keep the bottom from burning. After getting all you batches into the pot you are hot and ready to process in a water bath.

I add lemon 1T lemon juice to the bottom of my sterilized jars before filling and water bathing.