Canning leftover soup is a great way to not only save from any waste, but also to have a quick meal for future use! Keep reading to learn how to pressure can leftover soup.
Is canning leftover soup safe?
Canning leftover soup, whether it is vegetable-based or meat-based, is safe to do as long as a pressure canner is used. For safety reasons, pressure canning is the best way to ensure your soup doesn’t spoil. Pressure canning vs water bath canning are two different methods of canning. Pressure canning kills off microorganisms that can cause botulism or a foodborne illness brought on by water bath canning.
Canning Leftover Soup
Let’s start with the end of the night. You just cleaned up the kitchen after feeding your family and you have a huge pot, half full of soup left. What are your options?
Well, you can put it in the fridge and eat it again tomorrow, freeze it in freezer bags, or can it. While all the options are great, sometimes canning soup is the option we want. Pressure canning soups allows for quick meals later on. It also saves on freezer space.
Therefore, let’s take that pot of soup and get to work on the home food preservation.
How to Can Leftover Soup
If the leftover soup is not warm, start warming it up. While that is heating up, wash canning jars with hot soapy water. Fill the pressure canner with one to two inches of water and get that warming up on the stove.
Next, take the hot soup and ladle it into hot jars. Keeping mason jars in the oven on the lowest temperature until ready to use is an easy way to keep your jars warm until ready to use.
Fill the soup up to 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles.
Afterwards, take a paper towel or damp cloth and wipe rims of canning jars.
Place lids on top of mason jar and screw bands on finger tight.
Place jars into pressure canner. Check water level and ensure that there is around 2-3 inches of water in the bottom of the pressure canner.
Place lid on pressure canner and bring up to steam. Vent steam for 10 minutes.
The dial gauge level will vary depending your where you live. The National Center for Home Food Preservation can show you what level of pressure you need to use on your pressure cooker. Higher altitudes will need more pressure. Personally, I place the dial gauge on 10 pounds pressure.
Processing time will vary depending on ingredients and mason jar size. Generally though, quart jars will process for 75 minutes. Process pint jars for 60 minutes. Follow your home canner instructions or a research-tested recipes for exact canning time.
After the canning process is done, turn stove off and allow pressure to lower to zero. Remove dial gauge and allow pressure to release some more. Open lid away from face, remove the home-canned soups and place on a towel, leaving undisturbed for a day.
The next day, check all seals and wash outside of jars to remove any liquid or anything gross that has gotten on your jars of homemade soup.
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Need to Know
While canning leftover soup with your own recipes is doable, the only way to ensure that a recipe is guaranteed safe is to use a recipe that is tested, tried, and true. A great resource is the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
If you are choosing to follow the guidelines of the USDA, then you will want to avoid canning milk or cream based soups. Also, wait on the thickening agents such as pasta, rice, or cornstarch. For instance, if you are making a can of homemade chicken soup, can up the chicken stock, chicken and vegetables. Then, add noodles during serving time. For something like tomato soup, just add cream while warming up the soup after opening, If you are looking for thickness in a soup, try adding ClearJel during the canning project.
While canning leftover soup is great, it is something I do quite frequently, remember that you will be cooking the soup for the 2nd time. Therefore, vegetables will be more mushy. Add extra beef broth or chicken broth if needed. Especially if the soup has meat. Meat can be dried out if cooked too long. If you are looking for the soup to taste just like (or even better) than the first time it was made, then you can cook them in the pressure canner instead of the pot. Just throw fresh vegetables with some broth into the jars and pressure can away! That will ensure your soup is perfect!