If you haven’t stored your pressure canner for the season…

Cans of Tomato Veggie Soup

…then it’s a great time to can soups! (And of course, even if you thought you were done for the season and have put it nicely away in storage, then you can still pull it back out.)

To warm up these wintry days, prepare and preserve your favorite mix of vegetables, beans or peas, meat, poultry or seafood into a hearty soup. In order to produce a safe preserved product with these low-acid foods, you’ll need to use a pressure canner. You’ll also want to follow these recommendations from USDA:

If this is your first time canning or you admit that you could benefit from a refresher of the basics, please first read Using Pressure Canners and Principles of Home Canning.

Jars of soup in pressure canner

It is important that you DO NOT add noodles or other pasta, rice, flour, cream, milk, or other thickening agents to your home canned soup. These ingredients effect the heat penetration of the jars during processing and USDA does not offer recommendations for their use. Also, if you do choose to use dried beans or peas, you MUST fully rehydrate them first so as not to alter the measurement of water in the final products.

The procedure is fairly simple: select, wash, and prepare vegetables, meat, and/or seafood as you would for a hot pack. For more information about preparing for hot packs, refer to So Easy to Preserve or the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. If you are including meat, then cover meat with water and cook until tender. Cool the meat and remove any bones. If you are using dried beans or peas, then add 3 cups water for each 1 cup of beans or peas, boil 2 minutes, and then remove from heat. Soak for 1 hour, then again heat to a boil, and drain.

Soup filled jars half and half

In a large stock pot, combine solid ingredients with enough broth, tomato juice, or water to cover them. Boil 5 minutes. Add salt (or other dried spices) to taste, if you like. Fill jars halfway with solid mixture, and then add the remaining liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process using the tables below.

Original sources for this entry come from the National Center for Home Food Preservation website and So Easy to Preserve .

Recommended process time for Soups in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

Canner   Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes

Style   of Pack

Jar   Size

Process   Time

0-2,000ft

2,001-4,000ft

4,001-6,000ft

6,001-8,000ft

Hot

Pints

60* min

11   lb

12 lb

13 lb

14 lb

Quarts

75* min

11   lb

12 lb

13 lb

14 lb

* Caution: Process 100 minutes if soup contains seafoods.
Recommended process time for Soups in a weighted-gauge pressure canner

Canner   Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes

Style   of Pack

Jar   Size

Process   Time

0-1,000ft

Above   1,000ft

Hot

Pints

60* min

10   lb

15 lb

Quarts

75* min

10   lb

15 lb

* Caution: Process 100 minutes if soup contains seafoods.
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4 thoughts on “If you haven’t stored your pressure canner for the season…

  1. Randal Oulton

    Should okra be avoided as a vegetable in soup because it is mucilaginous?
    Should cubes of eggplant be avoided in soup as a vegetable because it is mucilaginous?
    If the caution about noodles and pasta is because they are starchy, I’m wondering about non-starch noodle such as tofu shirataki noodle, which comes out of the chiller packages already cooked and gives off 0 starch, as it contains none to give off.

    1. nchfp Post author

      According to our recommendations for Canning Soup, okra can be used as an ingredient. The first step of the soup procedure is: “Select, wash, and prepare vegetables, meat and seafoods as described for the specific foods.” This does mean that you are limited to the vegetables, meat and seafoods for which we have canning recommendations, and we do have recommendations for Canning Okra (see http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/okra.html). So you would follow the procedure for preparing okra for canning before adding it to the soup: “Wash pods and trim ends. Leave whole or cut into 1-inch pieces. Cover with hot water in a saucepan, boil 2 minutes and drain.”

      But we do not have canning recommendations for eggplant, so we cannot recommend that eggplant be added to canned soup. Likewise, since we do not know the process time or other parameters for canning tofu shirataki noodle or any other noodles, we cannot recommend that tofu or other types of noodles be added as an ingredient to home-canned soup. “Starchy” would not be the only consideration as to whether they can be added without re-doing heat penetration work. Instead, follow the recommendations as written and then add the noodles to the soup AFTER you open the jars and re-heat the soup for serving.

  2. Sid Tyrrell

    Can you just process soup that is already made, providing there are no noodles/rice …?

    My wife often makes soups over the winter and we always have alot left over. Can she put the leftover soup in jars and process as described above?

    1. nchfp Post author

      Our recommendations for canning soup are meant to be followed exactly as written, including that it is very important to fill jars only halfway with solids before adding liquid to fill the jar up to the proper headspace, and the soup is prepared for immediate canning. If you want to keep some out for eating immediately, that’s fine. But the soup for canning should be prepared as described in canning instructions and then processed right away.

      So if your wife makes a soup that fits our procedure and heeds the cautions listed here:
      http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/soups.html , then it may be canned following the process times and steps described there in our canning recommendation.

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