Canning Homemade Soup

Is it possible to safely can homemade soup?

homemade minestrone soup

It’s National Soup Month and we soup lovers are indulging in our favorite winter meal. But while we are busy slurping up bowls of steamy broth we may be asking ourselves, “can I can this?”

According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation the answer is a resounding yes! BUT, we must follow a few rules to keep our homemade canned soups safe to eat.

  1. Home canned soups MUST be canned by the pressure canner method. No water bath canner here. Soups are full of low-acid meats and vegetables and must be pressure canned to prevent potential botulism infection.
  2. Don’t add noodles/pasta, rice, thickeners (flour, cornstarch, tapioca, etc), or dairy products to soups. These items can be added when serving the soup, but don’t hold up to canning.
  3. If you are using dry beans in your soup, the beans must be fully rehydrated before canning.
  4. Only use vegetables that have an approved hot-pack canning recommendation in your soup recipes, and prepare the vegetables according to those directions. In other words, it’s ok to add green beans to your soups because there is an approved method for canning green beans using the hot-pack method (boil 5 minutes before canning).
  5. Meats should be fully cooked and bones removed before adding to the soup.
  6. Fill clean canning jars half full of soup solids.
  7. Add hot liquid (broth, tomato juice, etc) to jar leaving one inch of headspace.
  8. Everything must be hot! Hot soup solids. Hot soup liquid.
  9. Process your soups according to the approved time table.

If you aren’t comfortable canning your own soup recipes, the new Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving has several approved soup recipes. Here you will find recipes for everything from bean soup, beef stew, chicken soup, and chili to pea soup, tomato soup, vegetable soup and more, all with full processing directions.

Do you have a home canned soup story? Share with us in the comments.

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by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at SeedToPantry.com. Find her professional food writing info at PenandProvisions.com.

January 5, 2016

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