Soup is one of those foods that can serve as a satisfying lunch, a filling snack, or a light dinner and is particularly welcome on a cold winter day. Convenient as they may be, store-bought canned soups are frequently loaded with sodium and preservatives, whereas homemade soups allow you to control every ingredient. Soups do not last long in the refrigerator, but they can be preserved in a pressure canner for easy future meals.
It is simple to pressure-can soup, and you can make extra the next time you prepare soup for dinner or prepare a large batch of soup specifically for canning. It also works for homemade broths and stocks, allowing you to always have some on hand for recipes. There are, however, steps you must take to ensure the safety of your homemade canned soup.
Water Bath Canning vs. Pressure Canning
A pressure canner is a large piece of equipment that cooks food at a temperature higher than boiling water. When canning non-pickled low-acid vegetables, you must use a pressure canner as opposed to a hot water bath because the absence of acid promotes bacterial growth. This small device can also be used to preserve soups.
Notably, all soups, including vegetarian varieties, must be pressure canned. Botulism is risky if the soup is processed in a boiling water bath. 1 This food safety rule applies to vegetable and meat-based stocks, broths, and soups.
Pressure Canning Homemade Soup
Soups can range from brothy to chunky to creamy and can contain various ingredients, depending on the recipe. Not all soups are suitable for canning, and there are several factors to consider before simply placing the finished soup in jars. When canning soup under pressure, the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning provides the following guidelines
- If the soup recipe calls for pasta, rice, dairy, or thickeners such as cornstarch and flour, omit them. These ingredients cannot withstand pressure canning and should not be added until the soup is ready to be heated and served. Salt can be added to canned soup.
- Before canning, you must completely rehydrate dried beans and peas. For each cup of dried beans or peas, boil them in three cups for two minutes, then let them soak for one hour before re-boiling the water.
- Cook meat until tender, then remove bones after it has cooled.
- Wash and prepare vegetables, then cook as if they were to be canned in hot packs. Include only vegetables on the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s list of vegetables that can be safely canned.
- All the soup ingredients should be boiled together for five minutes.
- Employ the hot pack technique: Fill the remaining space with liquid (broth, tomatoes, or water), leaving an inch of headspace. If you do not adhere to the rule of half-and-half and the soup is too thick, it may not heat thoroughly. When the center is undercooked, the integrity of the entire jar is compromised.
Soup Canning Times
The USDA provides canning time and pressure guidelines even though soup ingredients vary.
3 Remember that higher altitudes necessitate a pressure adjustment for canning. The required pressure (PSI) also varies based on the type of canner used. Any soup containing seafood requires a 100-minute cooking time.
When canning between sea level and 2,000 feet above sea level, process pint jars for 60 minutes and quart jars for 75 minutes at 11 pounds per square inch (PSI). For each additional 2,000 feet in altitude, one pound of pressure is added.
When canning between sea level and 1,000 feet, process pint jars for 60 minutes and quart jars for 75 minutes at 10 pounds PSI. At any altitude above 1,000 feet, increase the pressure to 15 pounds PSI.
Before filling the jars with clear broth or stock derived from meat, fish, or vegetables, bring it to a boil. Use the soup pressure recommendations for your canner style and altitude, processing pint jars for twenty minutes and quart jars for twenty-five minutes.
Is It Safe To Can Puréed Soup?
Because they are thick, puréed soups cannot be canned according to the rule of half solids and half liquids. Use the USDA guidelines for puréed and mashed pumpkin and winter squash, stating that these purées should not be canned. Too many variables exist regarding the consistency of a low-acid food purée to provide a safe canning recommendation. However, there is a way around this.
When preparing a soup intended to be puréed, do not purée it. Instead, pressure can make it as you would any other chunky vegetable soup, and when you’re ready to eat it, reheat and puree the soup.
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