Archive for May 15th, 2009

Canning Vegetable Soup

May 15, 2009
Vegetables cooking in a canner

Vegetables cooking in a canner

Spring is here and it won’t be long before the Farmers Markets and roadside markets are brimming with veggies.  Take the advantage of lower prices by buying in large quantities.  This vegetable soup is the base for lots of winter soups.  Just open a jar, add meat, beans, pasta, or rice for those one dish meals on cold winter nights.

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe in the 1970’s.   Those were the days before farmers started growing hybrid tomatoes with lower acidity.   Hybrid tomatoes maybe great for eating fresh but not good for canning.  Unless you’re using heirloom tomatoes, which have higher acidity, you’ll need to add citric acid to each jar before water bathing.

Check jars to make sure there are no chips or dings in the top rim.  They will not seal properly if damaged.  Be sure to scrub jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water.  Sterilize jars for 10 minutes in a canner of boiling water.  You can use the automatic dish washer for a sterilizing rinse and to keep jars and sealing lids warm until ready to pack.  Any un-iodized Local Kitchensalt will do for canning, but the best is Morton’s canning salt.  Click here for more information about canning:

Ingredients: – makes 8 quarts

  • 1 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 quart sliced carrots
  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 2 bunches celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canning salt
  • 4 quarts peeled tomatoes
  • 6 large onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers and 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2  tsp citric acid per jar


  1. Place all ingredients in a large canner.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour.
  3. Place 1/2 tsp of citric acid in each sterilized jar.
  4. Ladle soup into sterilized jars, wipe rims, apply seals and rings and tighten.
  5. Water bath jars under boiling water for 20 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove from bath and set on kitchen towels, out of drafts, until cool.
  7. Listen for pops of lids sealing.  Check all lids; if the lid spring back when press, it is not sealed.  Remove seal and discard.  Apply new seal and water bath again, or refrigerate and make soup for supper.

I’ve updated this post to include citric acid in the recipe.  This will ensure the pH level is acid enough for canning in a boiling water bath.  You can check acid levels before sealing jars with a litmus strip available at pharmacies, or wherever canning supplies are carried.