Real Tomato Ketchup

Summer is here, tomatoes are everywhere, and I cannot help but feel obligated to buy as many as I can, because I know they’ll be gone soon enough.

There are only so many things to do with an abundance of tomatoes. Sure, they’re great to eat in salads, but how can we savor their lusciousness into the fall? Personally, I find tomato sauce a bit boring. Why not try something different?

The following recipe is one I have had for ages. I love it because it tastes like regular ketchup, only better. You can experiment with the spices to suit your own taste. And try it with different tomatoes like deep purple, green or yellow ones. If you are into canning, it makes a great gift. Or just keep a jar of it in the fridge for your own personal use!

Once you make your own ketchup, you’ll have a hard time going back to the bottled stuff.

Real Tomato Ketchup
Makes about 1 quart


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
8 cloves garlic minced
8 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until golden brown. Add tomatoes, honey, vinegar, cinnamon sticks and cloves, and stir to moisten. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add allspice, celery seed, mustard and paprika, and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Working in batches, run sauce through a food processor, blender, or food mill until it becomes a smooth puree. Strain through a wire mesh strainer back into the saucepan and place over high heat. Cook, stirring continuously, and reduce until the sauce reaches desired thickness, about 10-15 minutes. Chill before serving.

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