For the first time in ages (decades?), I actually managed to get some of my tomatoes planted
early on time in the kitchen garden this year. And although it's been a strange tomato season so far (for one thing, I've plucked off more massively destructive—and totally creepy—tomato hornworms this year than in the last 20 years combined—yuck) a couple of reliable varieties have done really well, and we've been enjoying them on everything from BLTs and tacos to big dinner salads and frittatas.
And yet at last count I still have eight big colanders and bowls of tomatoes in various states of imperfection (cracks, big bite marks, just plain rotting) covering every flat surface in the kitchen. What to do?
Make a batch of this easy homemade tomato vegetable juice! It's a refreshing way to drink your garden veggies and keep up your stamina while working out in the heat, plus it'll help you quickly use up all those overripe, imperfect, or just plain ugly tomatoes.
This flavorful, rejuvenating juice is like Campbell's V8 juice but much better, and it's been one of the most popular recipes on Farmgirl Fare all year round (hello readers in the southern hemisphere!) since I originally shared it back in 2008. Did you know V8 juice is mostly made from water and tomato paste, plus a frightening amount of salt?
Technically my gardener's delight version is only V4, though you could certainly add more vegetables, such as beets, spinach, carrots, or sweet peppers, if you like. Either way, the homemade version will blow that V8 away.
To make it, all you do is chop everything up and toss it into a pot, simmer until soupy, then put it through a food mill.
This juice will keep for at least a week in the fridge, or you can preserve it in glass jars (canning instructions are included in the recipe) to enjoy the taste of vine-ripened tomatoes on a deep winter day, when the heat and sweat of summer are nothing but a distant memory.
P.S. Quick and Easy Gazpacho (totally refreshing chilled tomato vegetable soup) and Pasta with Easy Sun-Dried Tomato, Fresh Tomato, and Artichoke Pesto (I love this stuff).