If you’re preserving low acid foods – like meats and most vegetables, pressure canning is the only safe way to create a safe and shelf stable product. Ball jars and their 2-piece lids are tested and approved containers and lids for use in pressure canning.
Pressure Canning Basics is a good place to start if you’re just getting into pressure canning or if you need a refresher. This post over on Living Homegrown and our post here will clear up any confusion about pressure cookers versus pressure canners.
During these colder months, having some soup that isn’t from a can or that needs to be thawed out is a real treat! It’s important to understand that not all soup recipes are safe for canning – even pressure canning.
Soup Recipes (that are safe for pressure canning)
Homemade Chicken Soup or Chicken Broth – While it’s pretty easy to freeze broth-based chicken soup, having all of your ingredients at room temperature is a real time saver.
If your garden blesses you with more tomatoes than you think you can handle, and your family lovesTomato Soup, the UW Extension sheds light on why you can’t just can your favorite tomato soup, and Food in Jars has an alternative!
This Beef Stew Recipe from Ball Fresh Preserving is also a winner – with this variety of veggies, it would be a great way to use up some of the fall garden items for a delicious chunky stew.
Stock is one of those secret ingredients that once you use it, you’ll always want to have it on hand! Not only is it (in our humble opinion) the best base for just about any soup, but it can be used as the fluid when making rice & couscous. It’s an incredibly economical way of getting MORE out of your meats and/or vegetables. With all of the gatherings and seemingly endless amount of food over the Holidays, it’s likely that you’d easily find yourself with some kind of meat along with plenty of vegetable scraps that would produce some lovely stock!
This Clarification on Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock (along with the recipe and canning instructions) is wonderful. I love the tip on using the pressure canner to speed the process of getting the most out of your chicken! Yes, I have a collection bin in my freezer for those vegetable remnants that weren’t pretty enough for the veggie platter or that I know I wouldn’t get to use on time. TIP: Don’t wait until things get droopy before you put them in the freezer. You will get more from your veggies if you’ve put them away before they’re out of their prime.
Marisa’s How to Can Turkey Stock is perfect for this time of the year! You may be shocked to know how many folks are just tired of the whole dealing with the turkey thing…if you know the cook well enough, do you think it would be weird to ask for the carcass? Perhaps with the promise of a quart of stock? She also shares how to Pressure Can Ham Stock.
Interested in canning Beef Stock? The NCHFP has a useful post on the basics of selecting, preparing & canning Beef Stock as well as Chicken or Turkey Stock.
If you don’t have meat, but find yourself with vegetables to spare, it would be worth your time to make some Vegetable Stock. It offers up a lot of taste without the residual fats that are difficult to fully remove in the making of meat stock. It also is an excellent option to have on hand for those vegetarian guests!