Homemade Ketchup – can it live up to the shop bought versions? Well I absolutely love ketchup, to the point I get told I’m being ridiculous when I have to add it to nearly everything I eat. To be honest, if it hadn’t been gluten free I think it probably would have been the hardest thing to give it so thank goodness that didn’t have to happen!
A year ago I was telling someone about my love of ketchup and they said to me, ‘you do realise it’s really easy to make your own and it tastes just as good’. As I walked home I thought no way can it be easy to make or taste the same and so I put the idea away to the back of my head. However this year with the very hot summer my dad has had a bumper crop of tomatoes in his garden. There’s only so many tomatoes anyone can eat so I decided to give this homemade ketchup idea a go and what do you know, it is easy and it does taste just as good.
Now it’s not quick to make but you can just leave the pot cooking while you do other stuff around the house. I got just over 2 jars of homemade ketchup from the recipe below but I’ve also made it with double the amount of each ingredient listed and got 5 jars. The taste and consistency was the same using double amounts too.
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- ½ fennel bulb, roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery , roughly chopped
- olive oil
- 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger , peeled and roughly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled and sliced
- ½ fresh red chilli , finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh basil , leaves picked, stalks chopped
- 1 tbsp of coriander
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 kg of tomatoes (I use a mix of sizes and variety)
- 200 ml apple cider vinegar
- 70 g of either coconut sugar or unrefined light brown sugar
- Place all the vegetables in a large saucepan along with a large glug of olive oil plus the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil stalks and coriander. Season with the pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often.
- Once they’ve softened add all the tomatoes and 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half. This can take a while so you can leave it and it just check it every so often and give it a stir.
- Then add the basil leaves and whiz it all down in a food processor or with a hand blender. Once you’re left with no obvious chunky bits you need to now push it through a sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny.
- Put the sauce into a clean pan and add the vinegar and the sugar. Then place the sauce on the heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. If you are finding it hard to thicken up then you can add a small amount of cornflour, it wall also thicken up more once you leave it to cool down. Now is also the time to correct the seasoning to taste.
- Once you have a ketchup consistency let it cool before spooning the ketchup through a funnel into sterilized bottles. Seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the fridge, it should keep for six months.