Kickin’ Ketchup

Along with a certain chocolate spread, ketchup is one of the substances that I’ve been looking to replace from the supermarket shelf options with a credible wholesome, organic, homemade alternative.

I can’t claim that this isn’t a faff compared with simply whipping it off the shelf in Waitrose but it will leave you with a sense of innate smugness and it’s very pleasing when they’re chomping it down with the BBQ, veg packed and sugar free.

You have to remain true to the integrity of the original ingredients. Tomatoes that are fresh, ripe and bright will gift their own flavour to this – buy the best ones you can find, those that are almost going to burst open with ripeness. Try to replace as many of the ingredients to organic if at all possible.

If you feel their taste buds can take it, vary with an added chilli injection or a dollop of horseradish if you see fit at the reduction stage.

Kickin’ Ketchup!    Makes 2/3 bottles

1 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

500g best bright and smiling tomatoes

200ml water

1 x handful of fresh, chopped basil

2 tbsp red wine or apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp tomato purée

2 tbsp runny hunny

Season to taste

Pop all the vegetation minus the basil into a large saucepan over a good slug of coconut oil, melted and glistening. Season well and cook gently over a low heat for approx 15 minutes – keep an eye on it, you don’t want any burnt bits. Add the basil and water and gently cook down further until it reduces by approximately half.

Use a stick blender to mix and cream the mixture together and then add the honey and vinegar. Reduce over a gentle heat until it reaches the desired consistency, then check to see if it needs any more seasoning. This should take another 10 minutes or so.

Cool, then funnel into sterilised bottles with a good seal. I use Kilner bottles (as shown) for a pleasing Martha Stewart feel but you can of course decant into old ketchup squeezy bottles which make using it easier for the younger, smaller hands in the family.


This batch will keep well in the cupboard if cool or the fridge for several months, if indeed it lasts that long.

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