Kate’s classic tomato recipes

Kate Coughlan shares her great-great grandmother Elizabeth Parsons’  tomato recipes (converted from pounds and ounces, of course). 


This delicious relish reminds me of the one made by Anathoth, those clever Barker’s of Geraldine.


3kg tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
12 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
500g white sugar
3 Tbsp of salt
1/3 litre of malt vinegar
1½ tbsp of curry powder
3 Tbsp flour
2 tsp dry mustard

Add tomatoes, onions, sugar, salt and half the vinegar to a large pot and boil for one hour.
Mix together curry powder, flour, mustard and remaining vinegar, then add to tomatoes and boil for another hour.
When it starts to thicken slightly and look syrupy, pour into sterilised bottles and seal.


5.5 kg ripe tomatoes
1.4 kg brown sugar
75 g salt
75 g allspice ground
1 litre malt vinegar

Cut up tomatoes, removing core but don’t worry about the skins. Tie allspice in muslin bag. Place all ingredients in a pan and bring to boil then simmer for three hours stirring frequently. When cool, strain through the sieve and bottle. I use my trusty Vitamix and blitz the lot (minus the muslin of course) which gives a thicker sauce but saves a lot of time.


This recipe was given to me by Elizabeth Fry of The Cook Shop, in Christchurch.

3.5kg ripe tomatoes, skinned and cored
7 onions, finely sliced, except for one left whole
7 cloves stuck into one peeled onion
7 sprigs of parsley, stalk and all
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
28g (1 oz) celery salt
1 cup sugar

Boil all ingredients until soft, remove and discard cloves, then purée tomato mixture in a blender. The soup can be served as is or thinned with milk.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.

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