After eating our fill of real garden tomatoes over the sink, in BLTs, and in caprese salads, it comes time to think about other ways to prepare them.

  • Vegetable-oil spray
  • 3½ pounds ripe whole red tomatoes
  • ½ medium onion, cut in 1-inch chunks 
  • 1 carrot, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium celery stalk, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 fresh, mild red New Mexican chile, roasted; or 2 teaspoons dried New Mexican red chile, ground
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1–2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional: Finely diced tomato (yellow or other contrasting color); green scallion tops, sliced in thin rings; or minced cilantro

Serves 6

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Cover baking sheet with Silpat (silicon) sheet, foil, or parchment, for easy cleaning.
  2. Halve tomatoes; squeeze out seeds and excess liquid. Arrange tomatoes, cut side down, on baking sheet in single layer, and spray tomato skins lightly with oil. Roast 25 minutes, then pour off any liquid that has accumulated on sheet. Spritz onion, carrot, and celery pieces with oil and tuck in around tomatoes. Return sheet to oven and roast another 15 to 20 minutes, until tomatoes are very soft, with dark skins, and vegetable chunks are soft with a bit of color. Set aside to cool. Pull skins off tomatoes and discard skins (most should come off easily).
  3. Purée tomatoes, vegetable chunks, red wine vinegar, and red chile in batches, preferably in blender or food processor. If mixture is too dry to purée easily, add some of the stock.
  4. Combine tomato mixture and stock in saucepan and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into bowls and top each bowl with drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with diced tomatoes, scallion tops, cilantro, or a combination, if you wish, and serve.

Adapted from The Border Cookbook © 1995 by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison.