Canning tomato soup is a great way to preserve the flavors of summer for year-round enjoyment. Whether you grow your own tomatoes or purchase them in bulk, canning tomato soup is a cost-effective and easy way to create a pantry staple that you can use in a variety of dishes.
This article will walk you through the steps of canning tomato soup, including selecting the right ingredients, preparing the soup, and processing the jars. Whether you’re a seasoned canner or a beginner, you’ll find valuable information and tips for making the best tomato soup you’ve ever tasted.
We’ll also explore different ways to use canned tomato soup, from serving it as a classic soup to using it as a base for other dishes. So whether you’re looking for quick weeknight meals or want to add a new twist to your cooking, we have you covered.
So get ready to embrace the art of canning and discover how to make the most of your tomato harvest! With a few simple steps, you can turn your summer bounty into a delicious and versatile pantry staple that you’ll enjoy all year long.
Did you love tomato soup when you were a kid? It was one of my favorites, principally to dip that gooey grilled cheese sandwich in.
Why should you can your own?
There are several reasons why you should consider canning your own tomato soup:
- Cost-effective: Canning tomato soup is a cost-effective way to preserve your summer tomatoes. By purchasing them in bulk or growing your own, you can save money compared to buying pre-made tomato soup in cans.
- Control over ingredients: When you can your own tomato soup, you have control over the ingredients that go into it. This means you can choose high-quality, fresh ingredients and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Customizable flavor: By canning your own tomato soup, you can create a customized flavor that you and your family will love. You can add spices, herbs, and other ingredients to make it just the way you like it.
- Long shelf life: Canned tomato soup has a long shelf life, allowing you to enjoy it for months or even years. This means you can stock up on your favorite soup when tomatoes are in season and enjoy it even when they’re not.
- Convenient: Having canned tomato soup on hand means you can quickly and easily make a delicious and satisfying meal at any time. Simply open a jar, heat, and serve.
- Versatile: If you are running short on time, you can freeze your whole tomatoes, or go ahead and seed them and peel them and freeze the juice. When time allows, thaw tomatoes in the fridge, add spices and can it.
Overall, canning your own tomato soup is a great way to enjoy the flavors of summer all year round while saving money and controlling the ingredients that go into your food.
What tomatoes are best for making soup?
Honestly, the tomatoes you have on hand are the tomatoes you should use. I prefer a mixture of different varieties. It gives the soup more complexity, as tomato varieties have varied flavor profiles.
Don’t miss our complete step by step guide to canning.
What you need
- Tomatoes -use whatever tomatoes you have available.
- Onion – whatever color onion you have on hand is fine, preferably yellow or white.
- Parsley – fresh is best but substitute dried, if you have none on hand.
- Oregano -fresh is best but substitute dried, if you have none on hand.
- Basil – fresh basil is best but substitute dried, if you have none on hand.
- Sugar – just a pinch is all you need. You could substitute honey or a sugar substitute.
- Lemon juice – bottled lemon juice is critical in this recipe for shelf stability.
How to make it
Although it has quite a few steps, it is very elementary to make this soup.
To prepare the tomatoes
Although you can strain them out later, it is easiest to deseed and peel the tomatoes first, in a food mill.
Chop tomatoes into pieces large enough to fit is your food mill or juicer.
We use our Kitchenaid with the vegetable juicer attachment.
After you run the tomato chunks through the first time, run the discarded seeds and skins through a couple more times.
You’ll get a lot of extra juice.
This is the juice once it has been processed in the juicer.
To make the soup
Once the tomatoes are done, add them to a large stock pot.
Peel onion and cut into quarters.
Rough chop celery.
Add all of the vegetables to the bowl of your food processor.
Process them until finely chopped.
Add the vegetables to the tomatoes in the stock pot.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a fast simmer, until the water content is reduced. Usually about 2 hours.
Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender.
Chop the fresh herbs, if using.
Add the chopped herbs and spices. Cook for about 30 minutes more.
To can the soup
Prepare lids and jars while the soup is cooking.
Start your water bath canning pot or set up your pressure canner, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to pint jars and 2 tablespoons to quart jars.
Do not skip the lemon juice, if you’d like the jars to be shelf-stable.
Ladle hot soup into hot jars with the aid of your canning funnel. Leave a one inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, if needed. Wipe rims with a damp, clean kitchen cloth or paper towel.
Center warm lids on jars. Screw on bands fingertip tight.
Process jars in a water bath canning pot for 40 minutes for pints. Adjust time for altitude. See notes for processing times in recipe below.
Process jars in a pressure canner for 20 minutes at 11 PSI (pounds per square inch) for pints. Again, you must adjust for altitude.
Once processing time is done, remove the lid and allow the jars to cool in the water for 5 minutes. Remove them from the canning pot and allow them to sit on the counter for 12-24 hours, undisturbed.
- Always use added bottled lemon juice or citric acid when you can tomato products, to ensure a low enough pH. Acid levels in tomatoes can vary drastically, so do not skip this step.
- According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, do not add more than 3 cups of low acid vegetables to 22 pounds of tomatoes (about 25 cups of tomato juice).
- Jar sterilization is not required because the processing times are greater than ten minutes. Just make sure your jars are clean and warm. (Warm them up in the microwave or in the canning pot, since you are heating that at the same time.)
Pro- Tip: When canning, choose a reputable source for your recipe. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is one and the other is the USDA Complete Guide to Canning.
All of the recipes on this site are based on one or both of these trusted sources. We just do a more thorough job showing you how to do it, step by step.
How to use canned tomato soup
Canned tomato soup can be used in many ways, some of which include:
- Heat it up and dip your favorite grilled sandwich in it for the ultimate in childhood pleasures. If you would like a more creamy soup, add milk, butter or cream.
- As a base for other soups or stews: Add vegetables, proteins, or spices to the tomato soup to make a more complex soup or stew.
- As a sauce: Dilute the tomato soup with water or broth and use it as a sauce for pasta, rice, or vegetables.
- As a base for chili: Add ground meat, beans, and spices to the tomato soup to make a hearty chili.
- As a dip: Serve the tomato soup as a dip for crackers, chips, or vegetables.
- As a topping for baked potatoes: Pour the tomato soup over baked potatoes for a quick and easy meal.
- As a cooking ingredient: Use canned tomato soup in recipes that call for canned tomatoes, such as lasagna or pizza sauce.
- As a marinade: Mix the tomato soup with oil, vinegar, and spices to make a marinade for meats and vegetables.
These are just a few ideas, and the possibilities are virtually endless! Get creative and find new and delicious ways to use canned tomato soup.
How to store it
Store the jars in a dark, cool space for a year, if you use traditional lids. New Ball lids that are guaranteed for 18 months will last at least that.
If you don’t want to can it, you can add it to freezer containers and freeze it for about one year.
More ways to can tomatoes
Try this homemade canned tomato soup recipe the next time you find yourself swimming in tomatoes. You will find it tastes better than any you have tried before!
If you have any questions or comments, please ask in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Canning Tomato Soup
- Although you can strain them out later, it is easiest to deseed and peel the tomatoes first, in a food mill.Chop tomatoes into pieces large enough to fit is your food mill or juicer.We use our Kitchenaid with the vegetable juicer attachment.After you run the tomato chunks through the first time, run the discarded seeds and skins through a couple more times.You’ll get a lot of extra juice.28 cups tomato juice
- Once the tomatoes are done, add them to a large stock pot.
- Peel onion and cut into quarters. Rough chop carrots.1 medium onion, 1 cup carrots
- Rough chop celery.1 cup celery
- Peel garlic.2 cloves garlic
- Add all of the vegetables to the bowl of your food processor.
- Process them until finely chopped.
- Add the vegetables to the tomatoes in the stock pot with the sugar.Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a fast simmer, until the water content is reduced. Usually about 2 hours.¼ cup sugar
- Chop the fresh herbs, if using.¼ cup parsley, ¼ cup basil
- Add the chopped herbs and spices. Cook for about 30 minutes more.1 teaspoon oregano, dried
To can soup
- Prepare lids and jars while the soup is cooking.Start your water bath canning pot or set up your pressure canner, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to pint jars and 2 tablespoons to quart jars.Do not skip the lemon juice, if you’d like the jars to be shelf-stable. Add salt to jar, unless you added it when making the soup.1 tablespoon Bottled Lemon Juice, 1 teaspoon salt
- Ladle hot soup into hot jars. leaving a ½ inch headspace. Remove bubbles, if needed. Wipe rims with damp, clean kitchen cloth or paper towel.
- Center warm lids on jars with the aid of your canning funnel. Screw on bands fingertip tight.
- Either process jars in a water bath canning pot for 40 minutes for pints. Adjust time for altitude. See notes below.
- Or process jars in a pressure canner for 20 minutes at 11 PSI (pounds per square inch) for pints. Again, you must adjust for altitude.
- Once processed, remove lid from canning pot. Allow jars to rest in hot water for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the canning pot with a jar lifter and let them sir undisturbed for 12-24 hours, until thoroughly cooled.
- Check lids for seal. Press lid in the center, if it flexes up or down, the jar has not sealed and should be stored in the refrigerator and used first.
Originally published February 11, 2023.
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