There are many ways to preserve your food supply and extend its shelf life. One of the easiest and most effective of these food preservation techniques is canning. It is useful for preserving fresh fruits and vegetables as these tend to expire very quickly if they are not preserved in some form. If you are growing your own produce, you can harvest them during the summer months and still enjoy their nutritious goodness well into the winter months by canning them. Here is a simple recipe you can follow to make and can your very own homemade vegetable soup. (h/t to NewLifeOnAHomestead.com.)
How to make your own vegetable soup
The fresher the vegetables are, the better your soup will be. Ideally, your vegetables should be prepared right after harvesting.
4 quarts tomatoes (24 large tomatoes, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped)
12 medium potatoes, cubed
24 medium carrots, chopped
8 cups of lima beans, chopped
8 cups of uncooked corn
4 cups of celery, chopped
4 cups of onions, chopped
12 cloves of garlic, chopped
12 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop, core, or cube all of the vegetables that need to be prepared. Peeling your vegetables is optional as you can choose to leave them on to provide extra nutrition and texture.
Pour the cups of water into a large stock pot.
Add all the vegetables into the stock pot.
Allow the vegetables to boil for five minutes.
Slowly add salt and pepper to taste.
How to can your vegetable soup
There are two types of canning methods. These are hot water bath canning and pressure canning. Foods with a high acid content, such as tomatoes, can be safely preserved using the hot water bath canning system. However, foods with a low acid content are more suited for pressure canning as this allows for substantially higher temperatures that can kill off any harmful bacteria. It is unsafe to process low acid foods with a hot water bath canner. Since some of the vegetables in this recipe have a low acid content, the vegetable soup will need to be canned using the pressure canning method. (Related: An essential guide to canning: What you need and how to get started.)
Prepare your pressure canning system by sterilizing all your lids, jars, and rings with hot boiling water for at least 10 minutes. It is important to keep your jars completely sterile as any spores or bacteria left behind can cause your vegetable soup to spoil even after it has been canned and sealed.
Ladle the soup into your hot jars. Be sure to leave just around an inch of headspace at the top.
Use a butter knife to remove any unwanted air bubbles.
Cover the jars with the lids and rings. It is important that they are properly sealed, so be sure to screw them on tightly.
If you are using pint-sized jars, process them for 60 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure using your pressure canner. If you are using quart-sized jars, you can process these for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in your pressure canner.
If you happen to live at a high altitude, you may need to adjust it to the proper processing time and amount of pressure. Remember to consult with your canner's instruction manual for the appropriate measurements.
If you want to learn more ways to preserve your food supply, you can read more articles by going to FoodSupply.news.