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Canning Soup--What Method


Baker's Dozen
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I'm extremely new to canning and have a beginner question. Every fall and winter, I make a chicken tortilla soup. I would like to start canning this soup and would like to know if I should use a water bath or pressure canner. I usually simmer the soup all day and would like to continue to do so. Would it be possible to use the water bath method since the soup will be fully cooked? Suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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Soup, or anything else containing meat of any kind must be pressure canned at anywhere between 11 and 14 pounds of pressure depending on your altitude. I recommend you go to your local library or used bookstore and pick up a good guide to home canning, or check out the ones on googlebooks.

Personally, I only had to read one egullet story of a neighbour poisoned by his wife's asparagus to convince me that freezing is the preferred method for any risky items.

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Absolutely only a pressure canner. USDA recommendations for canning, freezing and drying food can be found at the USDA Food Preservation Site.

Canning soup is possible and not difficult, but you do need to follow the rules. Your local Extension office will have someone available to help you if you have questions, or you can PM me--I guess I am eGullet's local Extension connection. :smile:

Edited by sparrowgrass (log)
sparrowgrass
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To the good advice you've already gotten, I'd add that not every soup recipe can be canned, no matter what the method. In addition to concerns about the acidity of the ingredients, the recommended ratio of liquids to solids has to be followed pretty carefully, and no thickeners like flour can be used, since the soup's density can affect the ultimate safety of the final product (my understanding is that if it's thicker, the heat may not penetrate equally through the entire thing). The best bet is to find a tested, approved recipe (from the NCHFP site the Sparrowgrass linked to, or from one of Ball's publications) and use that. You can adjust the amount of dried spices to your own tastes. Or you can always freeze it!

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