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Home Canning Soup

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We’re soup people, especially in the fall and winter.  A slow-cooked soup is a wonderful thing on a weekend.  There are nights after work or work-day lunches when something quick is an absolute necessity.  We are not pre-made, store bought canned soup people, however.  The best way in my experience to get that quick fix is by home canning soup when produce is fresh and abundant.

Home Canning Soup - Homespun Seasonal Living

If you have a pressure canner (affiliate link), home canning soup is easy, safe, and tasty.  You don’t need any recipes, either.  Just use whatever ingredients you have on hand and follow these very simple guidelines:

1. Proper Processing Time:

Process to the ingredient that needs the longest amount of time in the canner.  In the photo above, my soup included tomatoes, carrots, green beans, onions, green peppers, and herbs.  Onions are the ingredient that need to be canned the longest, so the soup was processed at 15 pounds of pressure (for my elevation) for 40 minutes.  If you add meat or dried beans, those are most likely going to be the longest time but cabbage and a few other greens need long processing time.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation has some great (and free) info sheets that include processing times if you need to make sure you’re using the most up-to-date information for safe processing.  Knowing those processing times is essential and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (affiliate link) is a mighty fine resource to have in your canning library. 

2. Thicken Later:

Don’t pressure can with flour or other thickeners.  Thicken your soup or stew with a roux or slurry when you open the jar and plan to eat it.

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3. No grains:

Rice and noodles will not generally stand up to the canning process (I’ve read articles stating they will but all the trusted sources say no).  Add cooked rice, noodles, quinoa, etc. at the time of reheating.

4. Forget the dairy, too: 

Dairy products aren’t considered safe for canning.  Add cream or cheese when you’re preparing it for your meal if the particular soup needs it.  While I’d love to find a homemade version of cream of mushroom soup to can myself, I haven’t found a safe source yet. 

Those are the basics.  I tend to just make soup when I have little bits of things needing used up.  Some tomatoes instead of a more traditional broth with the end of season green beans and some carrots, etc.  It’s a simple process, overall and makes great, frugal use of every garden odd and end without feeling like you need to eat it all before it goes bad.

Any favorite home-made soup recipes that you can for quick winter eating?

The extra large head-space in my jars is from using chunks of tomatoes with very little added juice, think of canning tomatoes with no added water.  The tomatoes cook down in the canning process leaving more head-space than you had originally.  It’s perfectly safe and normal.

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Shared with Waste Not, Want Not Wednesdays & HomeAcre Hop & Simple Lives Thursday & From the Farm & Farmgirl Friday & Unprocessed Fridays & The Creative Home & Garden & Homemade Mondays & Homestead Barn Hop

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Thursday 6th of September 2018

Is there any problem with canning commercial soup, Cambels Beefy Mushroom, in my home canning?

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 6th of September 2018

I'm not sure what the ingredients are in that... I'm guessing if it's a condensed soup there's probably some flour in there somewhere and flour isn't approved for home canning.

Okay, so I decided to look up the ingredients in that and I personally wouldn't can it at home. I'm not sure the 'safety' or processing times for things like Hydrolyzed Soy Protein.

Also mushrooms aren't recommended for anything over pint jars...

I'm sure there are folks who do it and live to tell the tale but I don't know of safe/approved methods and I've never done it.


Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Will barley stand up?

Homespun Seasonal Living

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Barely isn't approved for home canning either. No grain is - there are no recommended times for processing done by any of the folks who can test it for things like botulism and other nasty things.

Tammy Smith

Friday 26th of February 2016

We have made a huge chicken stew in a black pot outside. We have a lot left. Just wondering if we could put it in canning jars and pressure it. We normally freeze it but wanted to try and pressure it instead. Howling and what pressure do we need to do it in?

Homespun Seasonal Living

Saturday 27th of February 2016

I don't know your elevation but here are some great instructions for time and pressure based on hot or raw pack and elevation:


Wednesday 14th of October 2015

Am I understanding this correctly? I can make my own chili recipe and my own spaghetti sauce recipe and I can pressure can it? As long as I don't use thickeners? My spices will all be ok?

Homespun Seasonal Living

Wednesday 14th of October 2015

You can pressure can your chili and spaghetti sauce recipes, just can for the ingredient that takes the longest amount of time (probably meat or dried beans in chili). Dried spices have always been fine to add, in fact most tested recipes have dried spices in them. If you're adding cups full of fresh basil, I'd make sure you're canning for the time for leafy greens. Does that make sense?


Sunday 15th of February 2015

My husband wants to be able to pull the soup out of the cupboard and not have to cook and add pasta or rice. I've read on this site and others that you should not add pastas or rice. Soups you buy in the store have pasta and rice in them. What's the difference? Also, it looks like little pasta shells or pasta of some kind in the canned soup at the top of this page or is that something else? Just wondering.



Sunday 15th of February 2015

Commercial canning equipment is vastly different than the home pressure canner. I've never found a trusted source that's been able to tell me that canning pasta or rice is safe - nor do I believe for a second that either would stand up to the time it takes to can homemade soup - they're simply going to break down and turn to mush. I don't play around much with what has been tested & approved - I figure the Ball folks want me to buy their products, they're not going to tell me something is unsafe unless it truly is (or hasn't been tested, yet) - after all they want people to can and buy more jars and lids, ha.

Those are snow white carrots in the soup in my photo, not pasta shells.