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September 3, 2014 Canning, For the Table, Preserving Recipes, Recipes

The Trouble with Tomato Soup

We’ve gotten many requests for tomato soup recipes for canning…and our responses may have seemed a little elusive. Well, the reality (until further research changes the recommendations of the National Center for Home Preservation) is that you just might not be able to safely can your favorite “heat & eat” tomato soup. There are a couple of pressure canner tomato soup recipes out there, but you will still have limits on the ingredients and not everyone can or desires to do pressure canning.

Here are just a few of the things that stand in our way of canning that perfect tomato soup:

  • Recipes for tomato soup vary greatly – some folks like a creamy soup, others a more broth based soup. Creamy soups do not freeze well, nor can they be safely canned. It is unsafe to can products that include flour or butter – often used in creation of the roux – for the purpose of giving soups that creamy taste & feel.
  • Other ingredients like peppers, celery & onions also vary and can have a significant impact on the pH of the final product to be canned. It’s important that the ratio of these items in your recipe has been properly tested and recommended by a trusted authority.
  • The length of time required to safely can tomato products (as recommended by the NCHFP) is rather extensive. In addition, dense tomato products require longer processing times (in order for the heat to sufficiently reach the core of the product) and/or the practice of using smaller, sometimes less efficient sizes of jars. This issue becomes amplified when thickening agents are used – even if it’s Clear Jel. The viscosity of the product will determine how the heat penetrates into the product even under pressure canner conditions.  We just can’t argue with thermodynamics!

There is hope! If you’re going to make a homemade tomato soup, why not make it awesome…and allow yourself some flexibility?

Our suggestion… simply put up some good tomato soup concentrate in your pantry or some roasted tomatoes  in your pantry or freezer.five-jars-of-tomato-soup-concentrate

When you crave some tomato soup, grab your tomato product of choice, whip up your roux, add your finishing spices and create a masterpiece! You’ll be pleased with the results, and the time in which you were able to do it!

Our favorite is a creamy soup – and I know I’ll not be canning it, or freezing it in its final form. But we will be enjoying incredible homemade tomato soup!tomato soup in bowl
However you decide to treat your tomatoes when framing for soup will vary depending on the season, the level of tomato bounty, the time you’ve got, the space you have in your freezer, the abundance of other fresh ingredients like herbs, onions, garlic & peppers and the final destination for your preserved tomato goodness.



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1 Comment
  1. Ouida Lampert Posted September 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Even though it is not for canning, would you share your favorite tomato soup recipe?