Soup - Winter's Perfect Comfort Food

9/10/2013 9:31:00 AM

Tags: Homesteading, pioneer Spirit, Sustainable Living, Beginning Homesteader, Susan Berry

Susan BerryHaving lived through many New England winters, I fancy myself an expert on comfort food. Being of Italian descent, I must admit I do lean toward pastas when the initial thought of comfort food crosses my mind. But, for me on a cold, snowy winter's eve, it has to be soup. There is nothing like a fire in the wood stove, the aroma of fresh-baked crusty bread and a pot of simmering soup on the stove.

Cooking a large pot of soup can last my husband and I a good five days, and there is no point in making soup if you don't cook a pot full. After a couple days of the same soup, though, the taste buds can get a little bored, so I would freeze the left over soup. This works fine for some soups, but not all of them freeze well. Also, after losing power during storms and losing my freezer full of food, I learned this was not always the  desired saving method for my soups. 

Having been a canner for over 30 years, I decided to learn how to can my soups. Chicken soup was my first attempt at canning. To my surprise, it was wonderful, even better than right out of the pot. The process of pressure canning made the chicken even more tender and moist. Keep in mind, though, it is not recommended to can pasta or rice in soups, so I add these when I open the jars to serve it.

chicken soup in canning jar

Chicken Soup in Canning Jars

While canning soup is easier than one might think, the process intimidated me at first. But after my first couple of batches, I was an expert and ventured into new and exciting territories of soup making.

At this juncture, I must advise you in the process of canning soups. Assuming you know some basics of canning, you know that low acid foods must be pressure canned and high acid foods can be processed through a water bath canner. BUT, I always process my canned soups through a pressure canner for safety’s sake. In this sharing of my experience canning soups, I must guide you in following to the letter the instructions and guidelines set by the USDA in the National Center for Home Food Preservation or by Ball Canning.

It is very important to correctly process canned food to assure safe-guarding against health risks caused by improper processing.

Now, on to the fun part ...

Favorite soups to have on hand in the pantry are my own – not store bought! I always make chicken soup. A simple recipe of chicken meat that I pre-cook by boiling with herbs. I then add carrots, celery and onion to the broth after I have removed the chicken from the bones.

A favorite of my husband’s is Minestrone Soup. Minestrone typically has small pasta in it, but I never get the chance to cook it and add it at serving time since Don just loves it the way it comes out of the jar.

minestrone soup in canning jars

Minestrone Soup in Canning Jars

Another one of my favorite soups is Potato Leek Soup

My favorite potato to use for canning is Yukon Gold potatoes because they keep their firmness well during processing. This is a very simple soup to make with just potatoes, leeks and vegetable broth. Another version is Cock-A-Leekie soup, made with chicken meat, leeks and chicken broth.

potato leek soup

Potato Leek Soup

Another great time saver is to make your own recipe for beef stew and can it in quart jars but DO NOT thicken it before canning. Leave it as broth, and when it is time to use, thicken it into stew or for a beef pot pie.

Once you can your first batch of your favorite soup, you will always have homemade soups ready to serve in your pantry. For those long, cold winters, there is nothing like soup – the ultimate comfort food.

For all of our favorite soup recipes, visit our blog.



Related Content

Christmas at Mayo Clinic

The Christmas spirit can keep us going even in the roughest of times.

To Hang Or Not To Hang

I started hanging clothes five years ago, shortly before we bought the farm, and I just can’t go bac...

Winter Break on the Homestead

Winter is our time to kick back and rest up from a busy growing season.

Found Fruit - Wild Apple Picking in the City

There may be free fruit in your own neighborhood - just keep your eyes open.

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 

NebraskaDave
9/13/2013 8:15:56 PM
Susan, you captured my attention with soup. I love just about any kind of soup. It truly is a meal in a jar when canned. The only thing to add to soup is a crust of home made bread. I agree that the cool fall nights are made for soup and bread. It just doesn't get any better than that. Have a great soup canning day.



Subscribe today
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
 

Want to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!