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November 2, 2017 Canning 101, For the Table, Preserving Recipes, Recipes

How to Preserve Soup


It’s soup season!

Preserving soup at home is an excellent way to preserve your vegetables, and have a meal ready quickly. As we head into winter, having soup that isn’t from a can, or that needs to be thawed out is a real treat! But, it’s important to understand that not all soup recipes are safe for canning. Soup is generally a low-acid food, which creates an environment for botulism to grow.  The ONLY way to preserve low-acid soups and stocks safely is to pressure can them or freeze them.


Low-acid foods include meats and vegetables (except for acidified tomatoes and pickled products.) Low-acid foods lack the acidity needed to inhibit the growth of bacteria and spores. Spores are destroyed when processed in a pressure canner where the temperature can reach 240°F or higher, therefore eliminating the concern of botulism. Freezing the soup also eliminates this concern, because the spores can not grow when the product is at or below 0 degrees F.

It is extremely important to follow directions provided by a reliable science-based source like USDA or partners in the Cooperative Extension System.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation  has provided these guidelines for pressure canning soups. Simply Canning is another great resource with a tutorial on pressure canning soup.

What about Tomato Soup?


So, what about tomato soup you ask… 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 canning tomato soup recipes out there, but you will still have limits on the ingredients and not everyone can or desires to do pressure canning. You can read more about this discussion in our post The Trouble with Tomato Soup. Our suggestion… simply put up some good tomato soup concentrate in your pantry or some roasted tomatoes in your freezer.

Freezing Soups

Soups that tend to freeze well include: Bean soups, vegetable soups, broth-based soups, soups with brown rice or wild rice, pureed soups, beef and chicken soups. If you haven’t frozen soups before, we suggest you read our Freezing in Canning Jars post. The post will answer all your questions about which jars and lids are safe for freezing, how much you can safely put in a jar, and the best way to thaw a jar and its contents. Our favorite jars to freeze soup in for the family are probably Ball’s 24 ounce wide mouth. If we are freezing for portable lunches, or just for two – we suggest Ball’s 16 ounce wide mouth jars. Both come with a distinct fill line, too help keep your food and jars safe from breakage. Remember to date and label all your containers of soup. Soups tend to all look the same once frozen, so you’ll be glad you did!

RecipesVegetable Stock in Jars

Here’s a round-up of soup and stock recipes.

Chicken Enchilada Soup for freezing

Potato Leek Soup for freezing (note: omit the cream before freezing)

Kale and Apple Soup for freezing

Tomato Soup Concentrate for water bath canning

Vegetable Stock for pressure canning

Homemade Chicken Soup or Chicken Broth for pressure canning

Rosemary White Bean Soup Starter for pressure canning

Beef Stew Recipe for pressure canning

Ham Stock for pressure canning

Turkey Stock for pressure canning

















Post a Comment

  1. Margaret C. Posted November 18, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Love the need website! As always, great recipes and reliably good preservation info! Thank you!

    • Margaret C. Posted November 18, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      That should be “new” website!

  2. Nancy Braswell Posted November 25, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Very timely — great ideas for putting up food for those chilly nights!

  3. Carissa Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    How long will these soups be good for frozen?

    • Fillmore Container Posted July 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi Carissa,
      If properly stored, soups will maintain best quality for about 6 months, but will remain safe beyond that time. The longer the soups are stored in the freezer the flavor and texture of the soup may decline.

  4. Carlin Cooper Posted September 20, 2021 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    This site seems to be very helpful! How ever I want to kno about preserving shellfish soups as well?

    • Fillmore Container Posted September 28, 2021 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi Carlin,
      Although the NCHFP recommends freezing as the preferred method of seafood preservation, they do have guidelines for canning. Soups are complicated because of the usually wide array of ingredients which require special considerations or which make them poor choices for preserving. We would refer you to the NCHFP site on How to Can Meat…including Seafood for safe recipes and tips.