Tis the season for homemade soups & stews! Autumn is here and the cool nip is in the air. On our homestead, the cold days when the wood cookstove is lit, you will often find a kettle of a soup or stew simmering on the back of the stove. Add a fresh baked loaf of bread and you have a ready meal that is very satisfying and warms you after being outdoors. Below are some of our favorite recipes for home canned soups.
A quick note before we begin - the USDA recommendations say that you should not use dairy, eggs, cheese, rice, or pasta in soups or other recipes that you home can. Choose recipes that do not contain these ingredients or choose ones that you can easily add these ingredients at the time when you are preparing the recipe for a meal. For example - Taco Soup is served with sour cream and shredded cheese. In canning this soup, I would be certain to not add these ingredients to the jar, but would have them on hand when I plan to make the soup to be added to it just prior to serving.
When I make soups to home can, I choose family favorites from my recipe collection. Most of the recipes make enough to fill a slow cooker, but I will double or triple the recipe and make it in a stock pot or large kettle. I reserve out enough to have for a meal, then the remaining amount is divided into canning jars. I can some in pint jars which are perfect for a quick lunch or for my husband to take to work and heat up in the microwave for his lunch. The remainder is canned in quart jars for family meals.
The following soups are giving their original portions. You will need to double or triple the amount if you are home canning these. I left them in their original amounts for those who want the recipes but do not plan to home can them. All soups are using precooked meats. I process the soups in my pressure canner for 65 minutes at the pressure level for my altitude.
1 lb. stew meat
1 large bag of frozen mixed vegetables (or chopped up fresh vegetables from your garden)
1 large onion, diced
1 quart of tomato juice
Italian Seasoning, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Precook the stew meat. Place all ingredients in a kettle or small stock pot. For a thicker tomato juice, add a pint of tomato puree. Bring the ingredients just to near boiling, then simmer to allow the flavors to blend. If the tomato flavor is very strong and you want to tone it down, you can do so by adding a Tablespoon of molasses.
1/2 lb. dry pinto beans
1/2 lb. dry kidney beans
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cups, whole kernel corn
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 small can diced green chilies
1 small can of sliced black olives
1 package Taco Seasoning mix
Wash, then cook the dry beans in lightly salted water until soft. In a skillet, brown the ground beef with the onions until meat is cooked & onions are soft. Drain. Sprinkle on the taco Seasoning and add a small amount of water, according to package directions. Simmer until the seasoning mix is slightly thickened.
Drain off just enough water from the cooked beans so that the water just barely covers the beans. Add meat, onions, corn, tomatoes, and chilies. Cook until all ingredients are heated through.
**If canning, put the soup into canning jars at this point and process in your pressure canner according to your canner manufacturer's instructions.
To serve: Ladle the hot soup over some corn chips placed in a bowl. Garnish the soup with the sour cream, shredded cheese and sliced black olives.
Chicken Vegetable Soup
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
3 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes , undrained
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
8 medium carrots, chopped
6 celery ribs, chopped
2 large onion, chopped
3 medium green pepper, chopped
2 cans (4 oz. each) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
4 chicken bouillon cubes
4 cups hot water
Mix the chicken and all vegetables into a large kettle or bowl. Divide the mixture evenly in canning jars, filling them 3/4 full. Dissolve the chicken boullion in the hot water. Divide the boullion between the jars of chicken & vegetable. Finish filling each jar with water, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Wipe down the jar rims. Add lids and rings. Process in a pressure canner for 65 minutes at the pressure level your canner manufacturer recommends for your altitude.
* If you cook the chicken breast by boiling them, save the water and use it instead of the boullion.