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Using Garden Tomatoes

A Soup and Bread Combo:

Two of my favorite north country recipes are from my good neighbors Fannie and Tom. Fannie makes a similar soup for her grandchildren from her garden vegetables. Tom (Betty's brother) created this bread for its health benefits. I think they are wonderful together.

Dr. Victoria Rosenholz

Fannie's Amish Tomato Garden Soup with ABC's

created by Fannie Swartezentruber and adapted by Victoria Rosenholtz

  • 1 large Vidalia onion (coarsly diced)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 4 carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 4 stalks celery (coarsly diced)
  • 1 green pepper (finely diced)

  • 1 lb. hamburger (90% lean)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 5 lbs. home grown tomatoes (coarsly diced)
  • 1 16 oz. can Great Northern white beans (drained)
  • 4 ears corn (cut off the cob)
  • 1/2 lb. ABC pasta or other pasta

To taste:

  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • flat leaf parsley (minced)
  • fresh oregano (minced)
  • fresh thyme (minced)
  1. In soup pot, sautee diced onion in butter and olive oil on medium to low heat until carmelized (about 15 minutes). Add carrots, celery, green pepper and saute (about 15 minutes more).
  2. In another pan, saute hamburger in olive oil until browned.
  3. Add hamburger to cooked vegetables. Add tomatoes, white beans, corn, ABC pasta. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add minced herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Betty's brother's bread and butter.

Betty's Brother's (cracked wheat and cornmeal) Bread

created by Tom McManus

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 C all-purpose white flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C cornmeal
  • 1/2 C cracked wheat

Other ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1/4 C warm water (set aside)
  • 1 1/4 C whole milk (heated)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  1. Measure dry ingredients, mix, and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Add butter, brown sugar, and salt to warm milk. Add 1/2 dry mixture to warm milk mixture and mix together.
  3. Add yeast mixture and stir in remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Turn onto a floured board, kneed until supple. Place in greased bowl and let rise for 1 hour.
  5. Turn onto floured board, sprinkle with flour and shape into a loaf. Place into a greased bread pan, cover with greased plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise for 75-90 minutes.
  6. Bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 35-40 minutes. Makes 1 large loaf.

Fresh Garden Salsa

  • 5-6 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, or a mixture of fresh tomatoes and canned chopped tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen fire-roasted.
  • 1-2 jalapenos or other hot peppers
  • 1 medium onion (sweet onions with green stems are great!)
  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 handful minced cilantro
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder (my favorite is New Mexico Light, from Pendereys Spice Store,
    304 East Belknap, Forth Worth, TX 76102)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Optional: For black bean and corn salsa, add 1 cup drained, rinsed black beans and 1 medium ear of freshly steamed corn, cut off the cob.

Chop all vegetables, mix together with other ingredients. The heat depends on the strength of your hot peppers. If it’s still not hot enough, add a bit of cayenne.

Jill Rubio

Tomato Brie Linguine

  • Coarsly chop 2 medium tomatoes & put in glass pan - brownie pan size
  • Add about 15 or 20 leaves of fresh basil - torn up
  • Add about 4 large cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped
  • Add a chunk of brie cut into small cubes, so that you have about the same amount of brie as tomato (cuts better when cold)
  • Pour in olive oil just to cover.
  • Let sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.
  • Serve over hot linguine (this melts the brie), top with Romano cheese and enjoy!

Yummm! This time of year I have this at least 3 times a week!

Connie Meng

Italian Tomato Salad

  • about 8 large tomatoes/cored and cut in wedges
  • 1 onion/cut in good size pieces
  • nice handfull of FRESH chopped basil
  • 2 large green peppers
  • 1 teaspoon salt(sometimes a little more)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 loaf hard-crusted Italian bread

Place ingredients in the bowl/mix together/sprinkle with salt/allow salad to stand AT LEAST 30 minutes/serve with hard-crusted Italian bread

I can never decide which is better/the fresh tomatoes or the bread soaked in the tomato juices. Delicious!

A variation would be to add some fresh mozzarella cheese

Christine Gauthier Mace


North Country Food Book page

When I was growing up in New Jersey, my father insisted on a Victory garden that could feed the entire town. It was war years and this was normal for the rural town we lived in. Besides my father loved turning over the soil, getting his hands into the rich dirt and watching the seeds develop into our table sustenance. In his enthusiasm there were always tomatoes that could not ripen in the allotted New Jersey sun timetable.

What to do with all the green tomatoes? My mother grew up with a father who believed in homegrown and organic and created the same overabundance of green tomatoes. Both my mother and her mother came to this situation armed with the family recipe for green tomato pickles from Grandma Bellinger who lived from 1839 - 1924. Having an overdeveloped sweet tooth, these pickles were my all time favorite Sunday dinner accompaniment with anything. In addition, the syrup had a role for making spiced pears special, basting ham or Canadian bacon too.

So when our garden played the short sun trick on us (again in New Jersey) I was armed with the answer! By this time I had inherited a wonderful pickle crock to work with and brought my family into this tradition too.

Elise Widlund, North River

Green Tomato Pickles

  1. Wash and slice 1 peck (1/4 bushel) green tomatoes
  2. Layer with sprinkles of salt. Let stand overnight. Rinse and drain
  3. Cook tomatoes in:
    1 part vinegar
    4 parts water
    A little sugar
    Till tender but not falling apart!
  4. Place in crock or jars and cover with syrup (below). Let stand a couple of weeks.


  • 1 quart vinegar
  • 8 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs whole cloves
  • 1 Tbs stick cinnamon (1 tsp. ground)

Tomato Ketchup

Wash, chop or put through a food processor until finely ground (puree).

  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes
  • 400 g. apples
  • 250 g. peeled onions
  • 1/2 green pepper


  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinamon
  • 1 dl white vinegar

Blend, heat. bring to boil, cook until volume is reduced by half.

Jan DeWaters

Tomato Aspic

Our family used to love going to Grandma and Grandpa’s home in eastern Pennsylvania. We always felt at home and our children looked forward to Grandma’s excellent cooking. On one trip, when our daughter was 8 and our son just 4, we arrived and almost immediately sat down to what looked to be a sumptuous luncheon feast. As we scanned the table for all the goodies there were to choose from, Grandma went to the refrigerator and brought forth individual salad plates for each of us. The salad was very unusual. To the untrained eye, it appeared to be a bed of lettuce with a generous dollop of red Jello in the middle. We thought nothing of it, but Grandma had a little smile on her lips anticipating our reaction to her special creation.

As the meal progressed, the salads sat quietly by each plate. But, when the main portion of the meal started to wind down, we each turned to our salad. I don’t recall who made the first move, but a generous bite of the salad was made with much anticipation. The excitement of that bite was quickly replaced by a questioning look and then a very sour face. That red Jello on the salad was really something Grandma had made called “Tomato Aspic”. It is a concoction of tomato juice, spices and gellatin. In Grandma’s day, during the depression, it was a delicacy in her home. On that day in eastern Pennsylvania, it was a painful experience.

We had always taught our kids to eat what is put before you. So, we slowly encouraged them to eat at least half of the special delicacy that Grandma had made. It took a very long time and both kids were real troopers. When we were finally done, we moved on to dessert, but we could see that Grandma’s pride was a little injured over our reaction.

That incident happened about 30 years ago. To this day, with grandchildren of our own coming to visit, inevitably someone will mention the tomato aspic disaster. I just love when this happens as it conjures up that moment those many years ago and brings my mother and father, gone now these many years, back to our table to enjoy family fellowship again.

Rich Loeber
Saranac Lake