Ask Peggy

What can I use as a tomato substitute?


DEAR PEGGY: I am allergic to tomatoes. It is very difficult to cook soups and stews without this tasty veggie! Can you recommend something to replace both the liquid and the taste in a recipe, without using tomatoes? Thank you so much. —L. B., Allentown, Pennsylvania

That's a tough question. In small amounts, you can certainly just omit the tomatoes and replace the missing liquid with chicken or beef broth or other liquids already in the recipe. You could also replace the tomatoes with other veggies like bell peppers, onion or summer squash—perhaps just increasing veggies already used in the recipe.

For recipes where tomatoes take center stage, like chili, there isn't much you can do to replace them. In those cases, your best bet would be to just skip those recipes all together and find a suitable non-tomato recipe like a white chili, a white lasagna, etc.