Homemade vegetable soup is delicious and easy to make. The mouth-watering aroma will fill your home hours before dinnertime. If you enjoy making homemade soups and want to make a large pot of vegetable soup for later, consider canning it. Though most foods can be canned with a water bath canner, vegetable soups are unfortunately not one of these, because it requires higher temperatures; you'll need a high pressure canner to can vegetable soups. Here's how to can vegetable soups:
Ingredients and supplies:
- Vegetables and other ingredients for vegetable soup, according to your favorite recipe
- Pressure canner (not water bath canner)
- Glass canning jars, lids, and rings
- Jar tongs
- Make the soup. Make your vegetable soup according to any recipe. Do not add pasta, rice, flour, or dairy products to home canned soups, because they will not can correctly. Any meats must be fully cooked before canning.
- Prepare the canning supplies. Sterilize the jars in your dishwasher or by boiling for 10 minutes. Follow your pressure canner's directions to prepare it for canning. Usually this involves heating it over the stove and adding about four inches of tap water, with the lid off.
- Fill the jars of soup. Fill the jars with soup, leaving about an inch free at the top. Seal the jars using the lids and rings.
- Can the soup. Place the jars of soup inside the pressure canner, and process according to the canner instructions. This involves letting the pressure build up to approximately 11 pounds, and leaving the jars inside for about 60 to 75 minutes. Follow your pressure canner's instructions carefully; the high pressure inside the canner makes them dangerous if used improperly.
- Let the soup cool. After the required processing time, turn off the heat. Let the canner cool; do not try to open it until the pressure drops back to zero. Open the vent to allow steam to be released. Finally, lift out the jars using a jar lifter. Let them cool overnight without touching or bumping them.
- Verify that the jars have sealed. Check to see that each jar has sealed by pressing down in the center of the lid. If the lid pops back up, it has not sealed. The soup in these jars should be refrigerated and used immediately; do not try to process it again, as the excess heat will turn the vegetables mushy.
- Store the soup. Canned vegetable soups should be stored in a cool, dark place, where they will last for about 12 months.
Homemade soups taste much better than the canned varieties you can find in the grocery store. They are low sodium and free from preservatives, two components of canned soups. This healthy and nutritious meal is great to have on hand for cold winter evenings when you just don't feel like cooking. Simply open a jar of your vegetable soups, heat, and serve.