Simple Tomato Sauce with a Food Mill (WFMW)

I love to make fresh tomato sauce, but I do not enjoy peeling and seeding tomatoes… At all!

Last summer, I got a big bag of tomatoes (about 40 pounds) from a local farm stand and decided that I wanted to make sauce to freeze so that I would have it for the winter. Fortunately, my mom was kind enough to lend me her food mill so that I wouldn’t have to suffer through all of the dreaded peeling and seeding. I loved it and put it on my wish list immediately (and my mom was kind enough to get me a food mill for my birthday later in the year!).

I’ve been surprised that we’ve still been getting quite a few tomatoes from our CSA this late in the season.  So, in case you are still seeing lots of tomatoes, I thought I’d share my quick tutorial on making tomato sauce with a food mill. It’s a huge time saver, and it works for me!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

Simple Tomato Sauce with a Food Mill

Start by chopping your tomatoes into large chunks.  You can cut the cores out of large tomatoes, but it’s not really necessary for smaller ones.  Place the tomatoes in a big stock pot or dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.

Set up your food mill over a large mixing bowl or a pot.  Ladle the tomatoes into the food mill and churn away… The tomato pulp and juice will fall through to your bowl and all of the skins and seeds will be left in the food mill. Really, it’s that easy.

You can use the sauce in your favorite recipes that call for tomato sauce.  If it’s a bit thin, you can thicken the recipe with a bit of tomato paste.  It also freezes beautifully in airtight containers for about 6 months.

My favorite way to use tomato sauce (especially in the winter) is to make tomato soup.  Is there anything more comforting than a nice warm bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold afternoon? So, when I made sauce last week, I also decided to make a big batch of soup using up some of the other CSA veggies I had on hand…  Here’s the recipe!

Tomato Soup with Eggplant and Peppers

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 5 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cream (or half and half)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large soup kettle or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the eggplant, bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and saute until tender – about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the chicken stock and corn starch until smooth.  Add to the sauteed vegetables. Add the tomato sauce to the pot, and stir to combine all of the ingredients evently.  Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cream.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Not just for tomatoes…

Oh, and did I mention that the food mill also works beautifully for applesauce? Just quarter and core the apples, no need to peel.  Simmer the apples in some apple cider and then run through the food mill for a natural, no sugar added applesauce!

23 Responses to Simple Tomato Sauce with a Food Mill (WFMW)

  1. You’ve really got me thinking here…I’d like to get away from using so many canned products. Maybe I need a food mill, and a bigger freezer!! (-: Thanks for the tips.

  2. This soup looks delicious, I think you did an update on Tweeter on Sunday about it and I was wondering about the recipe. Thanks for posting it. Have a great day

  3. Whoa, I’ve never seen a food mill before. When you first mentioned it I thought it would be a huge machine, then I scrolled down ;) I LOVE kitchen gadgets so that’s totally going on my list of things to get. This soup looks awesome, perfect for the changing of the seasons.

  4. I’ve never used a food mill and now I’m curious…cause I’m also way too busy to peel and seed tomatoes so I just end up using my stick blender to blend everything after I use them for sauce or soup. You have me wondering now if I would be able to discern a difference. I have so many apples from my tree though and was thinking of applesauce so maybe with two reasons for use; it’s time I bought one!

  5. I totally need a food mill! I spent days blanching and peeling 37 pounds of tomatoes earlier in the summer. This would have make life so much easier…

  6. My daughter just asked me last night to make a tomato soup this week. I really like this recipe. And I like your food mill!!

  7. I know people that have used a food mill to make their own babyfood, all natural and if you use organic fruit…no pesticides either. Not only that but you can also put the liquid in ice cube trays and freeze them for later use. i.e. pesto sauces etc. so you just pop it out put in a baggie keep in freezer and just add as needed to recipe. I also freeze pesto sauce in a snack size ziploc bag. spread it out thin enough in the baggie and freeze. So when I want to add just a little to spaghetti sauce or season something and need a little its thin enough that you can just break needed amount off.

  8. This is the first year I’ve really wished I had a food mill – I’ve seen so many recipes I wanted to try that called for one. Homemade tomato sauce is definitely much easier this way :) I just need to figure out where I’d put it in my already crowded kitchen!

  9. What, no basil? :)

    I love my food mill too. It’s great for all kinds of wonderful things. This time of year I usually make applesauce. Oh, and I’ve gotten some of the best tomatoes from the farmstand just this week. So unusual, but true.


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  11. A food mill is one piece of kitchen equipment that I don’t have. I have almost bought one so many times but then I wonder where I would put it… That being said, I know I would use it all the time, especially if I could make homemade sauce like this without the time consuming process of peeling and seeding. Looks great!

  12. We have used our food mill to can tomato sauce. There is nothing on the shelf that compares. We have canned tomato soup, and even put up pizza sauce. They are great for ricing potatoes as well.