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Today I’d like to welcome my friend Jamie as a guest poster on the site. Take it away Jaime!
Happy Fall Everyone!
There is nothing else like a hot bowl of homemade soup on a cold windy day. But if you are like me, sometimes you want the food but maybe not all the mess, or you just don’t have the time at that moment. If you learn to can your own soup, you only have the mess once, but can enjoy the soup over and over again!
Home Canned Vegetable Beef soup is one of my favorites! It also a perfect soup to make at the end of the season when the last of the vegetables are finishing. This post isn’t a typical recipe, it’s more of a guideline to allow you to use your own recipe.
Even though this soup has to be pressure canned, it is still relatively easy to make and can. For using your specific pressure canner, read your instructions that came with it. It will basically require you to put a few quarts in your canner to start, add your jars with lids, properly attach the cover, let the steam release, let the pressure build, cook for allotted time and then cool down. If you don’t have a pressure canner yet, I highly recommend the All American Pressure Canner. Another good, but less expensive option is the Presto Pressure Canner.
Step One: Gather and Prep your ingredients
This is the fun part in my opinion. I love looking for and buying fresh produce or picking it from the garden. There is just something rewarding about having a counter full of fresh ingredients instead all the processed store boxes and cans. For this soup I use carrots, potatoes, corn, green beans, peas, onions, celery, bell peppers and beef (whatever is cheapest). Don’t worry, even the toughest cuts of meat will turn out tender once the canning process is complete.
You will want to wash all your vegetables and cut them into the size you prefer for your soup. I like everything cut into 1/4″-1/2″ cubes/dices. I also leave the skin on the potatoes when I use baby reds. If you don’t want all the trouble of washing / peeling / chopping fresh veggies, you can always use freeze dried veggies. They have all the same nutrients as garden fresh produce, but don’t require any prep time and work really well in canning!
Step Two: Cook your soup
In a large stock pot, add a little oil and your meat. I used beef stew meat for this soup. Brown your meat and add the seasonings that you like. I use pepper, garlic and onion powder and a little salt.
Once the beef is browned you can then add your stock/broth and your vegetables. I used to use V8 juice along with some beef stock. But since I found out about tomato powder, I’ve switched. I now use water, tomato powder and beef bouillon. It works well to give a nice deep flavor. Once everything is added and you have seasoned to your taste, let it simmer until the vegetables just start to get tender. You don’t want to cook it too long in the pot because it will all cook more during the canning process and you don’t want everything to become mush. I let it simmer about 20-30 minutes.
Step Three: Fill Jars and Pressure Cook
Now you are ready to fill your hot, prepared jars. I like to put my soup in wide mouth pint jars so that they are single serving size. Fill your jars making sure to keep 1″ of headspace. Clean rims before adding lids.
Now you are ready for the pressure canning. Place your jars into your canner, following your canner’s instructions. In my large canner I can fit 16 pints (8 per layer) with a separator between layers. Adjust your canner lid, bring up to pressure and process pints for 1 hour and 15 minutes for pints at 10 pounds of pressure (1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts). Let cool before removing jars.
Enjoy your home canned vegetable beef soup!
If you want to learn more about canning, this DVD from my friend and expert Kendra is a fantastic resource and is great for beginners! Save $5 with code LEARN2CAN.