Good Question: Do I Need a Tomato Press?

2009_05_12-Soup.jpgHere’s a great gadget question from Tiffany.

Dear Kitchn, I am dying to try this Williams-Sonoma recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup. It calls for a tomato press, though. What is that? Do I need one? (Please say no!) How can I achieve the same effect with basic kitchen utensils and a blender? Thanks!

Here’s the recipe that Tiffany is referring to:

Basically, this recipe calls for roasting the tomatoes, then passing them through a mill to get rid of the seeds and pulp. What’s left is a seedless, skinless chunky puree of tomato flesh and juice. You can see the mill they’re referring to here:

This is a useful tool if you are going to use it a lot to puree and process tomatoes — if, for instance, you’ve planted 48 square feet of tomato vines in your back yard and you are planning on canning tomato sauce all summer.

But most of us just aren’t going to process tomatoes in that kind of bulk, and a specialty tool like this is unnecessary. You can get a similar effect by mashing the roasted tomatoes through a colander, to remove the skins, and then again through a smaller sieve to remove the seeds. Or you can use a food processor or blender to just blend the whole thing into a smoother puree. This may leave some gritty seeds in the mix, however. One other option is a more all-purpose food mill, which will create smooth purees of tomatoes, potatoes, and other vegetables. It’s great for sauces.

Readers, any other good ideas for processing tomatoes for soup?

(Images: Williams-Sonoma)

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