With the fall months quickly nipping at my heels, I am beyond ready to start canning up my favorite winter soups. A family favorite is homemade vegetable. My kids and husband love reaching for a jar off the pantry shelves during the blusteriest parts of winter. Nothing beats a hot bowl of homemade soup when your body is literally chilled to the bone.
Out of all the soups that I make and preserve, I make the largest batch of vegetable. Everyone in my household loves it. Plus, it contains all sorts of yummy vitamins and nutrients.
When I was a little girl I can remember my mother doing the exact same thing. We didn’t have much money but we had a ton of kids, so mom was always trying to cut down on the food bill. Growing and making our own food helped her accomplish this.
Each summer, mom would harvest the vegetables from our large garden and begin the process of preservation. She would freeze some of them and can the rest. Many of her veggies ended up in soups and preserved on the pantry shelves.
I grew up in a family of 5 children, so it typically took 3 to 4 quarts of soup to feed all of us plus mom and dad. You can imagine how many jars of soup mom had to can in order to keep a few veggie soup meals on the shelves for us to enjoy throughout the winter months.
Canning vegetable soup is relatively easy, and it allows you to taste the fruits of your summer harvest all year long. I have used a hot water bath canner when preserving vegetable soup due to the high acid content of the tomatoes and their juice. However, there are some low-acid vegetables in the soup so to be on the safe side, I’m going to give you a pressure canner recipe.
Please know that you are not strictly adhered to the veggies listed below. Feel free to use whichever you enjoy. Many people like to add things such as rutabaga and cabbage. In fact, if you are low-carbing, replacing the potatoes with rutabaga is ideal. They are much like a white potato without all the starch.
You may need to adjust the salt and pepper a bit based on your tastes. Add them in slowly. You can always add more but you can’t take any out.
Keep in mind that you MUST use a pressure canner when canning vegetable soup. This food is low in acid and makes it unsafe to be processed with a hot water bath canner.
Feel free to use quart, pint, or even half-pint jars for your soup. I like to can up a few half-pint jars for single serve sizes. They make a wonderful lunch for my children who homeschool.
Soon, you’ll be enjoying a jar of homemade vegetable soup on a cold day with your family, too!
Vegetable Soup Recipe and Canning Instructions
- 4 quarts tomatoes (24 large tomatoes, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped)
- 12 medium potatoes, cubed
- 24 medium carrots, chopped
- 8 cups lima beans
- 8 cups uncooked corn (right off the ear is best)
- 4 cups celery, chopped
- 4 cups onion, chopped
- 12 garlic cloves, chopped
- 12 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First things is first, you want to sterilize your jars, lids, and rings in hot boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Leave the jars in the hot water until you are ready to use them. Making sure your jars are completely sterile is a vital step to the canning process. Any little bit of bacteria or fungus can cause your vegetable soup to go bad, even after it has been sealed. You don’t want to open up a jar of soup and find mold growing in it. Even worse, you don’t want to have the soup grow botulism, something you can’t see, consume it, and become gravely ill.
- After you have prepared all of your vegetables, place them into a large stock pot along with the water and salt and pepper, and boil for 5 minutes.
- Next, ladle the hot soup into the hot jars and leave about 1” of headspace at the top. Remove any air bubbles with a butter knife. Place the lids and rings on the jars and screw them on tightly.
- Process the pint-sized jars for 60 minutes and quart-sized jars for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in a pressure canner.
If you live at a higher altitude, processing times and amount of pressure may vary. Please refer to your canner owner’s manual for instructions.
I leave the peels on my potatoes and carrots for extra nutrition and texture. Feel free to peel your veggies if you prefer.
The 5-minute boil time for the soup is intentional. Completely boiling the veggies and rendering them soft will result in you having mushy vegetables after you process the soup.
I hope you and your family enjoy this vegetable soup as much as mine do!
Sometimes, when I crack open a jar of veggie soup, I’ll place it in a pot to simmer and brown a pound of hamburger in a skillet. Once the hamburger is cooked, I’ll drain the fat and toss it into the soup for an even heartier meal.