Tag Archives: Soups

Freezing soup

Who doesn’t enjoy freezing cold soup in the wintertime? …after it’s reheated, of course! Another option for soup lovers who don’t want to pull out the pressure canner this season is to freeze soups. Here you’ll find how-to tips and recommendations for freezing soups successfully.

24 hours before putting soup into your freezer, drop the freezer temperature to -10°F. Once soup has frozen, hold at 0°F. If you already have a freezer that’s set to the 0°F and there’s space open in it, then freezing is more likely to be an economical choice for food preservation. If you also have airtight containers to use instead of buying new ones, then the cost is even less.

Frozen corn and tomato productIMG_1159

Which kinds of containers work best? Rigid containers like plastic cartons or glass jars designed for canning and freezing. Keep in mind thought that many common household containers are not suitable because you’re looking for moisture- and vapor-resistant materials that produce an airtight seal (i.e. not your average yogurt or milk container). Hint: wide-mouth jars make it easier to remove the contents before complete thawing. One other option is to pour the soup into ice cube trays!

An advantage of freezing soup is that you can portion individual servings (or servings for 2, 3, 4…), making it easy to reheat just one portion at a time in order to produce your desired quantity. No container should be so big that the soup will take a long time to become frozen; that leads to poor quality. Another benefit of freezing is that certain ingredients intensify in flavor after freezing, such as pepper, cloves, garlic, green pepper, celery seasonings and some herbs…but beware; they could also become bitter overtime. Other cautions: onion and paprika change flavor, curry develops and off-flavor and salt loses flavor. Simple solution: season lightly before freezing then add more seasonings after reheating.

Just like some fruits and vegetables freeze better than others, some soup recipes will maintain a higher quality than others. It’s generally suggested that you leave out potatoes from soups that you plan to freeze. Another tip for best quality is to concentrate the product by using less liquid. You can always add more liquid (broth, tomato juice, cream, water) when you reheat it.

After preparing your delicious soup, it’s important to cool it quickly, so that large ice crystals don’t form- that would lead to a mushy consistency. To do this, put the pot of soup in a pan or sink of ice water. When cool, package and freeze immediately, placing containers against the surfaces of the freezer for the fastest freeze. For highest quality, enjoy frozen soup within 4-6 months.

IMG_0193

Do not put hot glass in the freezer (or in ice water); it may break. It’s also important to leave headspace so that the soup doesn’t break the container as liquids expand in the freezing process. The exact amount of headspace needed depends on the contents of your soup, but leave at least ½-inch for mostly solid soups and 1½-inches for mostly liquid soups.

Unlike other frozen foods, it is recommended that you do not thaw your soup, but rather reheat it immediately after removal from the freezer. Heat it to a rolling boil, or at least 165°F. If it’s a cream soup, then heat over boiling water, double-boiler style. Soups with dairy may curdle and separate, so stir while reheating to keep smooth. Here’s another tip: add a waxy rice or corn flour as a thickener.

Information in the entry comes from ‘Freezing Prepared Foods’ and So Easy to Preserve.

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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.