Canned soup is delicious and easy for lunches, dinners, and even snacks. Store-bought soup often contains large amounts of sodium and even hidden ingredients such as monosodium glutamate, yeast, and unknown spices and added artificial flavorings.
Soup done by homemade canning is not only healthier, it is less expensive than the store-bought versions and you can control what goes into it. Which soups are best for canning at home?
Canned Cream Soup
Tomato, mushroom, celery, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and other vegetables and blends make delicious creamed soup. Creamed foods are often cooked vegetables run through a blender and then made into a delicious and creamy soup with fresh milk or cream and a variety of spices. These may take a few extra steps to prepare, but are well worth the effort.
To make them a condensed soup, simply leave off the addition of cream and extra water in the recipe you follow and note on the label how much to add for that particular recipe. When opening a jar of creamed soup, simply add the amount of milk or water just like the condensed soup you would purchase at the store, but at a fraction of the cost.
Canned Vegetable Soup
Depending on the recipe, you may or may not need to pre-cook the vegetables. One delicious method of making homemade canned vegetable soup is to save the vegetable refuse from processing other vegetables in a bin in the freezer. These can range from clean potato skin and apple skins and cores to onion peels and lettuce cores. When you have enough to boil for stock, boil them up until soft and then cool the stock. Blend them in a blender and run through a food sieve or mesh strainer to remove the larger particles.
Take the resulting stock and use it as a base for any vegetable or meat soup base. Simply chop up the desired vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, onions, par-cooked potatoes or root vegetables, zucchini, peas, cooked beans, green beans, or raw dark leafy greens and place them in a bowl. Then add your favorite dried or fresh herbs or spice blends and mix it thoroughly.
Finally, add this mixture to the jar, leaving half to one-third head space. Add the broth, stir, and pressure can the blend for about 20 minutes, or as directed in the vegetable soup recipe you are using.
Canned Noodle Soup
- Noodle soups are not that hard to can. The easiest part is that the noodles go in dry. You will need:
- A vegetable or chicken stock that has just been boiled and is still hot.
- Chopped cooked meat such as chicken or beef.
- A favorite spice blend or fresh herbs; Italian seasoning works best.
- Fresh, raw or par-cooked vegetables.
- Dried noodles such as egg noodles, stars, alphabets, ditalini, macaroni, gemelli, or mostaccioli.
Measure one-fourth of the jar for each ingredient plus the spices. Again, leave roughly a half-inch head space air pocket for a good seal. Then, layer the ingredients as you add them: noodles, half the hot broth, spices, meat, vegetables, and half the hot broth again. Make sure that the rim and lid are clean and dry when you add the lid. Pressure can for the time specified in the pressure canning directions.
Canned Bean, Chili, or Split Pea Soup
Unlike the other soups, bean soup must be cooked and completely ready to eat before canning to ensure that the finished product is actually edible. When you are done cooking the bean soup, simply jar it up while still hot, leaving roughly a half-inch to an inch of head space and then pressure can it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Detecting Spoilage in Home-canned foods
Unlike high-acid canned foods such as tomato sauces and fruits, low-acid foods like soup are more prone to spoilage due to improper canning or not achieving a good seal. Before serving up your delicious creation, inspect the jar lid for leaks, a swollen lid, rust, strange coloring, or a foamy or murky appearance.
If all looks well, open the jar and smell the food-it should smell pleasant and delicious. If you detect any of the above, discard the food immediately. Before eating, bring the food to a boil for at least 10 minutes just in case any dangerous microbes are in the food. If the food still smells pleasant, it’s probably safe to eat.
Home-canned soups are not only tailored to your dietary needs, they contain less sodium, fat, and artificial ingredients. Healthy, hearty, and cheap, soup made by homemade canning cost a fraction off store-bought varieties and definitely have better flavor.