Tomato ketchup

There’s nothing quite like cooking up a batch of your own ketchup for those times when only a dollop of the rich red stuff will do.

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Makes: 1 litre


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

6 garlic cloves, sliced

3 bay leaves

3 whole cloves

1⁄2 tbsp coriander seeds

1kg ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

75g light brown soft sugar

200ml cider vinegar

11⁄2 tbsp salt

4 tbsp tomato purée


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves and spices, cooking over a medium-high heat until softened and just golden (about 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and salt with 250ml water. Cover, bring to the boil and then simmer briskly for about 1 hour, stirring often, until reduced by 1⁄2 (you should have about 1kg in weight). Stir in the tomato purée and set aside to cool for 5 minutes; discard the bay leaves.

2. Blend in a food processor (or use a hand blender) until smooth. Press through a fine sieve into a clean jug and, using a funnel, transfer the ketchup to hot, sterilised bottles. Seal with a lid while hot, then cool completely before using. The ketchup will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months, but once opened should be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.