Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home-Canned Tomato Soup

One of our readers, Donna, found that my family was from Redmond, Utah. She mentioned her Great Aunt Geniel Bowers participated in making a ward cookbook in Redmond. Even though I do have many of my grandmother, and great-grandmother's recipes, I don't have a copy of any Redmond Ward cookbooks. My immediate family hasn't lived in Redmond for well over sixty years.

Specifically she asked about a recipe for canned tomato soup. I scoured my family recipes, but I'm afraid I couldn't find anything. Looking through some older cookbooks, though, I did come across this recipe. I've updated some of the direction to suit the modern kitchen, and my own taste.

Donna, I hope it will be a good substitute until you can find your aunt's recipe. If you do find it, let me know. I'd love to share it, here.

Equipment Needed
kitchen knife
Either an immersion blender, standing blender, food processor, or food mill.
6 pint canning jars, with lids and rings
pressure cooker/canner

4 quarts peeled, cored, and chopped tomatoes (about 24 large tomatoes)
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped red bell pepper (about 4 medium peppers)
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced (about 3 medium carots)
Salt and pepper as needed.
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil)
1 bay leaf.
cooking oil as needed (I like olive oil for this)

Add a little oil to a large, hot, stock pot. Add the tomatoes and a dash of salt, and cook until soft. Remove from the pot.

Rinse the pot, dry, and reheat. Add a bit more oil, the onions, celery, pepper, carrots, and another small dash of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft.

Return the tomatoes to the pot, with the vegetables. Add the dried basil. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables until smooth. Alternately, you can puree them in a standing blender, food processor, or food mill, although you'll have to do it batches.

Bring the heat back up boil, and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the bay leaf. Cover and cook slowly until the soup thickens, about 1 hour. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and to keep the cooking even. Add additional salt and pepper as needed - about 1 more teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper should do it. Make sure you taste as you go. You don't want the salt or pepper to overpower the vegetables. Remove from the heat, and remove the bay leaf.

Pour into clean, hot, pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head-space, and seal with canning lids and rings. Process in a pressure canner for 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

Yields about 6 pints.

For more information on pressure canning and food safety, visit the National Center of Home Food Preservation.

Picture by David Sawford


The Duo Dishes said...

We'd love to try canning this winter. Maybe that will be the new hobby...

John Newman said...

The economics of home canning are a little weird. It doesn't really save you a much money, when compared to buying already canned goods from the store. The big difference is the flavor. Home canned produce from a home garden, or a local farmer's market, is so much better tasting than the canned crap you buy in the store. There's just no contest.

Chris said...

Thanks for posting this! I have a 100 pounds of late-season tomatoes and the farmer recommended pressure canning them. Apparently chemical changes occur in the tomatoes during cold weather and makes them less safe to water bath can. I've been making ketchup, bbq sauce, chili sauce, etc., (which I think are fine to water bath can because of their extra acid), but I've been meaning to make tomato soup. I used to love it, but haven't had it in so long, because, as you said, the store-bought stuff is crap and I just can't bring myself to buy it from the store anymore. I'm going to make a double batch of this and have home canned tomato soup with a tuna salad made with home baked bread, home canned tuna, and homemade mayo this winter. Yum!

John Newman said...

That sounds like an amazing plan, Chris. I had been wondering what the differences were between pressure canning and water bath. Thanks for the heads up!