Remember how fall feels like home? Part of that is canning. We have a sort of tradition each fall of canning a vegetable soup mix. I’ve spent one Saturday each fall for quite a few years sitting on Aunt Colleen’s porch cutting up vegetables
It’s usually me with Aunt Colleen, Aunt Della, maybe Aunt Mary. Now that my mom lives in town again, she’s there. This year we even got my sister-in-law in on it. And more shockingly, my brother. (I think maybe mom was scoffing at brother’s vegetable chopping skills?)
The carrots came straight from the garden. Add potatoes, celery, onions and tomatoes (also from the garden) and you’ve got a delicious vegetable soup that will last all winter.
Lottie helped out by stirring the mix. And doing a lot of spooning vegetables from one pot to the other.
Once you’ve got everything mixed together, just fill up quart canning jars with the vegetable mix, cover with water, and sprinkle in a little salt.
Best invention ever for canning? A camp stove. I remember when we used to do the pressure cooking inside on the stove. Even though it was fall and there’s a chill in the air, it got hot in the house. Really hot. Now, we throw it on dad’s camp stove out on the patio, and life is good.
Take them out when the timer goes off (and the pressure goes down) and look at your pretty bottles all in a row. You can do a few batches pretty quickly. We did about 80 quarts that weekend. At about 45 minutes each pressure cooker cycle, that’s quite a bit of sitting and waiting. But it’s nice to spend the time with family.
Here’s the basic recipe :
*Note: This will make about 18 quart bottles
16 C Potatoes, chopped
4 C onion, chopped
4 C carrots, chopped
4 C celery, chopped
1 C Tomato, chopped
Chop all vegetables and mix together. Fill quart canning bottles leaving about an inch of headroom. Cover vegetables with water and add 1 tsp salt per bottle. Wipe off the rims, cover with a lid and ring, and pressure can at 10 lbs pressure for
30 85 minutes* (follow the directions that come with your canner). Turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to go down before removing the lid and bottles.
New to canning? Here’s a great site with lots of tips. Not ready to try canning? Just reduce the quantity and throw it in a pot to cook. The great part about canning is that you have all the prep work done.
It’s great to come home on a cold night and just throw this in a pot, maybe with the leftover pot roast and gravy from dinner the night before. Don’t have leftover pot roast? Brown some ground hamburger and throw it in with a bottle of soup mix and a bullion cube. Throw in some frozen peas and/or corn and it’s extra delicious.
My favorite? Chowder. Especially Pumpkin Chowder in the fall. I’ll share that recipe with you pretty soon.
Does anyone else can? When I think of canning I always think of Grandma’s homemade pickles. What about you?
*Thanks to a reader for questioning this processing time. This is just the recipe from my grandma. Those were different canning times. I’ve done some research on this, and suggest the 85 minute processing time, but check for your altitude and the type of canner you have. Here’s a handy guide from presto (my brand of pressure canner) I found regarding how long and at what pressure to can different items. http://www.gopresto.com/recipes/canning/soups.php