Pressure Canning Soup -- Am I reading this right?

August 22, 2006

Hi all --

Ok, so I looked at the National Center for Home Food Preservation's page, and under their section on canning soups, it looks like ***as long as there is no dairy, thickener, or oil*** one can basically pressure can most soups -- including those with some meat, with beans, and with vegetables, for 60 minutes for pints, 75 minutes for quarts. Am I reading this correctly? What about the relative thickeness of the soup -- except I can't think this is such a big issue since if it is safe to pressure can bean soups this way, I'd think that thick veggie soups aren't much different. Anyway, could someone read the link below and let me know if you interpret it the same way I do? Because if so, I've got lots and lots of soup recipes I would love to can -- I'll just cut out any oil used in sauteeing the veggies and go from there!



Comments (72)

  • zabby17

    I think you're right, Melissa, in that the key is convection. That's the main way that heat is dispersed in things like soups, stews, and sauces when you are cooking OR canning them. If not for convection---i.e., the warmed sauce rising and the cooler sauce falling so it is near the element and then becomes warmed itself---you would always have the tomato sauce on the bottom scorched to heck before the stuff on the top got evem lukewarm while you relied on conduction and radiation to spread the warmth (like if you are say, grilling a steak).


  • lyndapaz

    I followed, exactly, the "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving" recipe for Vegetable Soup. After boiling the veggies for the recommended 15 minutes the consistency was more like canned veggies than soup. (Even before cooking it didn't seem to have nearly enough liquid for soup.) Then I remembered reading this thread and so I followed the National Center's instructions for pressure canning soup, since I needed to add a lot of liquid. Can anyone suggest an easy way to estimate the amount of liquid needed to half fill a jar with solids and then fill the jar with the soup liquid? Also, do you need to leave the solids at the bottom of the jar while processing or is it okay to stir them up once the measurment is accurate. Am I right in thinking that the type of liquid doesn't matter?

    Still so much learning to do.

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  • delzie

    I cooked a big pot of vegetable beef soup yesterday. By the time I added everything it was a big pot, so I would like to pressure can it because of the meat. How long do
    I have to process it since it is already cooked.

  • digdirt2

    delzie - cooking first does not affect the required processing time, it remains the same. The link below is the same one linked several times above and provides the details for safely canning soups and the processing times required - 60 mins for pints and 75 mins. for quarts depending on altitude. If any seafood the processing times increase.

    Please note the jars must be half solids and half liquid, no thickeners allowed (so if you have already thickened it it can't be canned), no noodles or pasta, meat in small cubes, etc.

    Good luck.


    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to can soups

  • betsyprice_gmail_com

    How much ham and what kind of ham is it safe to add to bean soup? If it is unsafe to add grease how can meat be canned safely?

  • ksrogers

    Lean trimmed ham, or Canadian bacon can be added. It would require pressure canning. Don't add any pork fat or any other fats to the soup. Another option is the 'fake' bacon bits made from soy, but they tend to get a bit chewy once canned.

  • digdirt2

    Yeah if you are going to add meat to the soups then you have to use the meat soup canning instructions (linked below) rather than just the plain soup instructions. The Meat prep instructions explain how you pre-cook the meat and then cool to skim the fats.

    Use low-salt content ham as the salty ones will intensify when canned and gets way too salty.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Canning meat soup instructions NCHFP

  • temiha

    Ok, I have been trying to find an answer to making Broccoli soup. The best I can find is that it is not suggested because there may be some discoloration and the taste may be intensified. I don't care about either of those things. I have made the soup and it was delicious. I made the broccoli soup with onions, celery, chicken broth and of course broccoli. I then pureed the mixture after cooking it for an hour or so and loved it. I have a very small freezer so I can't keep many at a time, much less any variety of soups. So I would love to can the soup, and I really don't care about the color, as long as it is safe. I have checked what seems like hundreds of web sites, looked in lots and lots of books and the best that I can surmise is that I should pressure can it for 75-100 minutes for quarts, or from what I am reading here, do I make the soup and scoop the veggies first, put them on the bottom 1/2, fill with liquid and process it. And I can puree it when I open it to eat at a later time? I donÂt always have a blender with me when I take a soup for lunch. So I would really prefer to cook it, puree it, and then pressure cook it. By the way I should add that the soup is thinner than split pea soup, it's consistancy is more like a creamy tomato soup.

    I also made a tomato soup pretty much the same way, but I think I can use the tomato sauce as a guide for canning that.
    Also, sorry to keep going on, a friend suggested adding ascorbic acid (a crushed vitamin C tablet) to add acidity to the broccoli soup...any comments?
    Thank you in advance,

  • digdirt2

    Hi Terri - sorry but it is a no to the puree before canning. That changes the density and that voids the processing time. With pureed foods you get cold pockets that the heat doesn't penetrate as well, even under pressure, so the bacteria aren't killed.

    do I make the soup and scoop the veggies first, put them on the bottom 1/2, fill with liquid and process it. And I can puree it when I open it to eat at a later time?

    That is the only way to go.

    Here are the instructions to follow since you will be using chicken broth as the base (note the processing times).

    As to the broccoli - you are right that it isn't recommended for canning, only freezing, and that is because of the color and texture problems associated with canning - it can really get ugly. ;) So as long as that doesn't bother you, go for it.

    Same applies to tomato soup - no puree and no thickeners.


  • annie1992

    temiha, I'd puree the soup after it's canned and you are ready to eat it, I'd be wary of trying to can a whole jar of pureed vegetables. It very well could be safe, but there's no way I could figure out how long it would have to be processed to be safe. Since it's untested and of unknown density, I wouldn't do it.

    If I had my heart set on canning that particular soup, I'd cook the soup, fill the jars half with the vegetables and half with the broth, and can it for the time provided for mixed vegetables or vegetable soup. That's an hour and a half for the soup, which I think could render the necessity of pureeing broccoli negligible, it would probably just cook right up into mush. Maybe not, but even that is "iffy" because I can't find any times given for canning broccoli or onions.

    I know some vegetables get "strong" when canned. One is my favorite, rutabaga. Apparently the taste got so strong that the Ball Blue Book stopped giving instructions for canning it. It wasn't a safety issue, it was a "quality" issue. So many people asked that now instructions are back in the 100th Anniversary Ball Blue Book. I don't mind the stronger flavor either, so I probably wouldn't mind the flavor of canned broccoli either.

    I don't think the acidity would help at all, you still have to pressure can the stuff. Additional acid might help something like tomatoes, which could be borderline on acidic levels, but your ingredients aren't even on the border, they are definitely low acid vegetables and chicken broth.

    So, can anyone guarantee the safety of your homemade and homecanned soup? Nope. Would I can it and eat it? Maybe, but I'd heat it at home, let it boil the required 10 minutes, puree it and then take it to work and then reheat it.

    Still no guarantees, but every person has to decide the risk level they're willing to take, from "no risk at all" to eating homecanned goods purchased from a yard sale or the local Amish farm. You don't have any clue how those were processed, so that's a risk I'm unwilling to take.

    Are you sure you can't find enough room in the freezer for that soup? I've found that not everything in the world I love can be canned, LOL.

    Good luck and happy canning.


  • joannaw

    Dave, Annie (or anyone else who knows), not to dwell overmuch on the puree issue (I do understand the general issues, which you've explained clearly many times), but in that Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup recipe that receives such high praise in the forum, it says you should blend it with a stick blender or in a regular blender until "almost smooth". I'm confused about why this apparent exception to the 'no puree' rule. Is it really ok there? If so why does its blendability not generalize at least to other tomato soup recipes?

  • digdirt2

    The simple answer is that unfortunately nothing about tested and approved recipes generalizes to other recipes - ever. There will always be tested and approved exceptions to most any of the rules. Having your recipe tested and approved by one of the labs - as some have done with other recipes - would be the only way to guarantee its safety.

    In this particular recipe the oil and the cream are also exceptions to the usual rule. But in this case the pre-roasting for an hour, the acidity of the tomatoes, and the long processing times compensates.

    Broccoli on the other hand as well as the onions and celery are all very low acid vegetables (almost twice as alkaline as tomatoes) and would not be pre-roasted - this not to mention the chicken broth. You would have to add so much acid to it to compensate that it would likely be uneatable.

    It is your risk to choose to take of course but as Annie said there is no way to guarantee its safety except by doing it as instructed in the guidelines - 1/2 and 1/2 and not pureed.



  • shirleywny5

    I made over 50 pints of Katie C's Roasted Tomato Garlic soup last year and it is all gone. I pureed it smooth with my stick blender. Cream was added ONLY after opening, heating and serving. This soup must be pressure canned. The canned soup was slightly thicker than my Veggie juice cocktail.

  • wearymom

    And here I was already to can zucchini soup this week ...but I am reading here that it shouldn't be pureed when canned. I found a recipe for canned zucchini soup and even a video showing how it is made and canned at http://canningusa.com/IfICanYouCan/SoupZuchinni.htm. It is video 4. What do you think of their method? I am leery of trying this now. I also have a lot of carrots and was hoping to do my carrot soup...but there again...it is pureed.

  • digdirt2

    Sorry wearymom but as explained above - puree only after opening is the tested and approved method. Trying to can pureed soups voids the processing times for the various vegetables because of the thicker density so there is no way to know if it is safe over time. But they can always be frozen. ;)

    There are lots of recommended recipes and videos out there that don't meet the USDA/NCHFP guidelines for safe home food preservation so use them with care. When in doubt you can compare them with the NCHFP Guidelines or post here.


  • wearymom

    Thank you, Dave for clearing that up for me. I am so glad I found this forum or I would have tried canning the pureed zucchini. I will ditch that idea now and just grate up my extra and put it in the freezer for baked goods as I usually do each year.

    But here is another question. I just got a new Presto Pressure Canner. The book from my old canner (30 yrs old) said nothing about adding 2 Tbsp of lemon juice or 1/4 tsp of citric acid to each quart before canning. The new book also says to add salt. I liked my tomato juice just the way I always made it...I just canned it like my old canner book said...no lemon juice, no salt...just plain tomato juice. (Don't think I would care for the taste of juice made this way.) Can I still do it my old way?

    Also, the new book gives a different processing time and pressure. I always did my quarts at 5 @ pressure for 5 minutes per the old book. The new book is says I need 11 # pressure for 15 minutes. This is a big change..much longer processing time... and I am wondering why. The juice I canned for many years was always perfect and kept several years.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

  • digdirt2

    I'm sorry but no, the rules on canning tomatoes and tomato juice changed many years back as a result of ongoing testing. The salt is optional but the added acid in the form of either citric acid, bottled lemon or lime juice (never fresh), or vinegar is required for safety reasons.

    You can choose to ignore them of course and make your juice as you did in the past but none of us here will say it is safe to do so and you need to understand the increased risks involved.

    If you will search 'canning tomatoes' here you'll find many discussions on this issue with all the why and wherefore details. And if you'd like to learn all about the current guidelines on all forms of home food preservation then NCHFP (linked in almost all posts here) is the place to start. They are the definitive source for home canning guidelines.

    As to your canner manual, as a general rule we don't consider them to be reliable resources in many cases as they aren't always kept current. There are several far more reliable sources for canning instructions and recipes. NCHFP, the Ball Blue Book, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, So Easy to Preserve, etc. all discussed here in depth too.


    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP

  • shirleywny5

    Throw the book away that came with your 30 year old canner. Follow the UCHFP guidelines for processing times. The latest was updated in May 2009.
    My original PC canning book said to process tomatoes by placing cold packed tomato quarts in PC, bring the pressure up to 10 lbs. and turn off the heat. Didn't mention lemon juice either.
    I am still using the canner, but threw the book away a long time ago.

  • wearymom

    Thank you both, Dave and Shirley. I have just been doing things the same old way for years, never giving it a thought that there would be changes. I do have a newer BallBlue Book, but it is probably still not new enough. Guess this old dog is having to learn some new tricks! Yep...I have been cold packing the tomatoes, too. So glad I happened onto this site and I will read up at the NCHFP website. Guess I have some homework to do before I start up my PC this year.

  • digdirt2

    All we old dogs have new things to learn but you know what? We still manage to do it pretty darn well. ;)


  • bassetta

    my family are really big potato soup fans!! the recipe includes milk, flour and butter. A few years ago I canned potato soup and it lasted for several months and tasted just like I made it that same day. But about a year later, it was not so good.

    I would love to can my own soup, so with that said and the above posts saying no to dairy, flour, etc., how is it that you can buy canned potato soup (or any other soup) that has dairy in it??

  • digdirt2

    How can one possibly compare commercial canning processes to home canning?

    As Linda Lou said in another recent post asking the same question - they have all kinds of fancy, automated, computer controlled, multi-million dollar equipment and huge factories while we have some jars and an inexpensive pressure canner.

    This not to mention irradiation equipment, inspected commercial kitchens the size of most houses, preservatives, and testing labs.

    There really is no comparison.


  • bassetta

    wasn't comparing, just asking how it is that they can do it and we can't and why it is so different. It's not just big companies like "Campbell's" I am talking about either, their are quite a few smaller companies out there that don't have what the bigger companies have and they still manage to make soups just like them. I understand and know they have fancier equipment, additives/preservatives and the like. I was only curious as to why we haven't been able to come up with the means to do it oursevles!

    ~ Amy

  • temiha

    1) First I must say thank you because this site has provided so much useful information, so of it I like and some I didnÂt want to hear. So in trying to fully follow the guidelines, let me see if I can construct my soups and then puree them when I open them at a later date. First I would start to caramelize the onions and celery in one pan. Then heat the chicken broth and add the broccoli in a second pot. Once the broccoli and chicken stock have boiled for a bit, I would add the caramelized onions and celery to the sanitized and still hot jars, then add 1/2 hot broccoli, onions and 1/2 broth to just an inch from the top. Following the guidelines I would cook this in the pressure cooker, with the rocker rocking for 1 and ½ hours for quarts. I think that after cooking this length of time, it should be complete mush and a good shake should mix it well, if you agree.

    2) Now the next question, which someone else had asked and the question was answered regarding puree, but with zucchini soup, can the same thing be done? Cook it a bit to get it hot and then divide the zucchini into jars and fill with the broth, again pureeing the soup later, when ready to eat?

    3) I also saw where someone suggested after opening a canned soup to boil it for 10 minutes prior to serving, is that still necessary following all these precautions we are taking?

    4) In addition it has taken me weeks to find the Ball Blue Book of Preserving and now I hear of a 100th Anniversary Ball Blue Book. Any idea when it is due out and where it will be available? (Let me guess it is out and of course any store will have itÂ)

    Thanks again,

  • greenhouser2

    I found my copy of the new Ball Blue Book at Wal-Mart, but not all the WM stores have it.

    Any soup pressure canned for 90 minutes would be mush and nothing I would want to eat as long as I have teeth. ;)

  • digdirt2

    Sorry Teri. I thought I had already given you the link to the soup canning instructions at NCHFP. They will answer all your questions.


    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to Can Soups

  • browneyesne56

    Dave, I'm trying to pressure can some Zuppa Toscana. It is a chicken broth based soup with chunks of potato, browned groung italian turkey sausage with sauteed onions and garlic, red pepper flakes and extra italian seasoning. It has crumbled bacon, cream and chopped kale added when served. Will it be safe to can it according to the meat soup guidelines? Will the potatoes be nothing but mush after 90 minutes at 10 # pressure?
    Thanks, Fran

  • Linda_Lou

    If it is half broth, half of the solids consisting of ground turkey sausage, potatoes, with some garlic and onions, dried seasonings, then it should be fine.
    If you will use a firmer, waxy kind of potato like red or Yukon gold they will be better than a Russet.

  • bigislandjeff

    Great post going on! For many years I've been pressure cooking a sausage and bean type soup of Portuguese origin for just 30 minutes. I've read the posts on the canning process, don'ts and time but I am still anxious whether I will achieve the desired texture and flavor with canning. Will my soup can well at all?

    This soup has smoked ham hocks, sausage, mirepoix, cabbage, golden potatoes and kidney beans. I also mash about a third of the cooked veggies, especially the kidney beans to make it 'stick to the back of a spoon'. The meat from the ham hocks are pulled after cooking and returned to the soup.

    Would you advise I pressure cook the ham hock maybe with an onion separately for a flavorful broth first? Cook the remaining ingredients with this broth, then fill half of the jars with solids and top with broth leaving an inch free-space and can for 90 minutes? I should absolutely avoid mashing the veggies for food safety correct? These will be holiday gifts and I can add my recommendation to mash the bits some before eating.

    The sausage is cubed and like the kidney beans an integral part of the soup. From what I've read sausage is a don't. Is it because of the fat content?

    Thanks, I'm such a newbie to canning. I am trying to understand how the lengthy but needed canning times correspond to the shorter times of my pressure cooking recipe. For instance if I pressure cook this soup say for an hour it would prolly scorch beans on the bottom and there would be no veggies visible. Lastly does the superb results of using a pressure cooker such as deep flavor and tenderness also apply to canning?

  • digdirt2

    Jeff - as is often mentioned here, cooking is an art but canning is a science. ;) In other words, you cannot safely can what are cooking recipes.

    Your soup, while it sounds wonderful, could not be canned as there would be both quality and safety issues. You would have to follow the 1/2 and 1/2 rule of solids to broth for one thing, there is no way to determine a safe processing time given it is all low-acid ingredients with no added acid, no way to determine the pH or the density of the soup, and the end texture would be very different than if it is made for fresh eating.

    The best quality and safety approach would be to can the ingredients separately (except the cabbage) using their specific guidelines and then assemble it fresh and add the cabbage at prep time.

    Browse through all the canning info available at the link below for more details and the specific issues of canning safety.

    Hope this helps.


    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP

  • readinglady

    Hypothetically it's possible (and no, nothing would scorch on the bottom during the longer processing time) but there are so many variables in your question there's simply no way for us laypersons to arrive at a recommendation. We could miss on one factor out of the list and put you at risk.

    The old-timers would approach a recipe like yours by canning the mixture using the longest processing time for the ingredients in your list. But that strategy doesn't address the density issue. In this case, you particularly don't want to gift something questionable.

    Sausage, by the way, can be processed. The assumptions that food would scorch on the bottom and that sausage cannot be canned demonstrate misunderstandings about pressure canning in general.

    The soup sounds delicious. My recommendation would be to freeze the soup and gift as a frozen item or to cook it fresh with a recommendation to refrigerate or freeze. Another possible option would be to gift "soup certificates" which could be redeemed any time of the year. You could even offer a short menu of choices, being sure they are soups you could can or freeze and have on hand.


  • cn_sushyne_yahoo_com

    I want to water bath some crook neck soup. The ingredients are: Squash, onion, garlic, fresh basil, water, salt, pepper, and I used canola oil to cook the onion and garlic. I tried to be very careful not to put any animal products because I don't have a pressure canner. I can blend it when I open it, but can I water bath this recipe? I made a huge pot thinking I could, then I saw this... HELP!


  • Linda_Lou

    No way, not unless you want to risk being paralyzed or die. You cannot destroy botulism spores in a boiling water bath canner. Vegetables and meats must be pressure canned. The only safe things to water bath are jams, fruits, and properly acidified pickled foods. Not soups. You need to freeze the soup.

  • digdirt2

    Sorry Christine but it isn't possible at all. Your question reads as if you think only meats have to be pressure canned. That isn't true. All vegetables and mixed vegetable recipes must be pressure canned.

    As Linda Lou said, the only things that may be canned in a BWB are acidified tomatoes, acidic fruits, jams, jellies, and pickles.


  • kurtclausen55_gmail_com

    It seems that all the recipes that I can find for tomato soup only list the process time for pints. Can the soup be canned in quarts? If not why? If so what is the correct process time? Also it's not recommend to puree soup before processing, but the Ball Blue Book says to puree first.

  • digdirt2

    Linked the many tomato soup discussions below and they should answer your questions and provide recipes.

    Quarts? No. It is dense and no processing times have been established for quarts. Puree? That all depends on the recipe. There are only a couple that have been tested and approved for pureeing. Likely the one you refer to is one of them. But that doesn't mean that you can safely puree other recipes prior to canning. It all depends on the ingredients.


    Here is a link that might be useful: tomato soup discussions and recipes

  • kmc000

    Thanks Dave. New to this. Helped a lot. Kurt

  • Bonniejf2012

    Hi All, Totally New to this Site, and Relatively New to canning as I got My Presto Canner last Year. I have Canned According to the Book that came with it Mostly, Though I have gotten some info when in doubt or experimenting off the web! BUT, I see by all these POSTS, That I have perhaps made a mistake with ham and Split Pea Soup, I Cooked it in the Crock Pot, for 24 Hours, WITH the Ham and Bone and Fat, Added Peas about 7 Hrs in, then Canned Qt. Jars Packed FULL of the THICK Soup for Like 90 minutes.....Are Ya'll saying the Soup is Possibly Contaminated?? I also Canned Whole Tomatoes from the Garden, Packed Full, and RAW Chicken also Full, All for Recommended Processing Times....Are NONE of these SAFE?? And Can't ANY safety issue be addressed By Fully Heating it and cooking for a few Minutes?? I would LOVE to Be Clear on these things, BEFORE spending Anymore Money, Time, Effort and expecting This to be Part of My Survival Stash!! Thanks!!

  • readinglady

    Are Ya'll saying the Soup is Possibly Contaminated??


    With a very dense product like the ham and bean soup you can theoretically kill any botulism toxins by bringing it to a boil and boiling for 20 minutes. (Dense product requires more boiling time.) A few minutes won't do the job.

    The risk is that IF there's botulism in the soup, you also have the issue of possible spread of the botulism toxins on the kitchen surfaces and in the sink when you open the jars.

    So that's the first issue. The second issue is using the canner manual, which is highly unreliable as they are seldom updated and often don't follow current USDA/NCHFP processing standards (either in terms of the canner operation and in terms of times for the product).

    The third issue is that lots of what's off the web is unsafe/untested, so without knowing the trustworthiness of the sites you used, it's impossible to tell whether the tomatoes and chicken present risk or not. The fact that the chicken was RAW is not a problem as long as you followed recommended times and procedures.

    The fourth issue is experimenting off the web. It's one thing to experiment with peaches or jams, but experimenting with low-acid pressure-canned product is inherently high-risk.

    Don't be discouraged. I know this must be devastating, but at least you checked in before eating anything. If you give us more specific information, we can tell you more accurately what might be salvaged and what is best discarded.

    Check the link below for the most thorough and safest site for instructions available on the web.


    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP How to Can

  • Bonniejf2012

    Carol, Thanks for the Feedback, I Am a Bit Worried, I Heard Once that You could take stuff to the dept. of Agriculture or something and have it tested FREE??? Is That True?? I got You on the 20 Minutes, so I would Do That anyway, and By experimenting, I WAS referring to Jams and Jellies! I HAVE Actually Eaten some of the Chicken, But ONLY after Cooking at a HARD Boil for 30 Minutes, adding some Chicken Broth and Making Dumplings, so That Turned Out OK, But I admit, in the BACK of My Mind, I worry about ALL of It! I Also Have Canned PUMPKIN, But Only Chucks 1/4 - 1/2 " maybe, and I Followed the Instructions off the Web Site, "Pick Your Own.Org" which Certainly Seems to be a Good Site, I will definitely Check on the Link You gave me too!I do Also get Info from the Yankee Prepper and SnowPony on YouTube, They say They Have been Canning for Years, AND Even Tell How to Can BUTTER, Which the USDA says Is NOT Possible, But She SWEARS They EAT it with NO Bad Effects! I am NOT That BRAVE, Especially When I can BUY Canned Butter for $6.95 a can on some Survival Sites, But, They SEEM to be Reliable! Anyhow, Thanks again, any more Help would be appreciated!!

  • digdirt2

    Agree with everything Carol said above. Personally I would safely dispose of those canned foods, especially the split pea soup.

    I also Canned Whole Tomatoes from the Garden

    NCHFP - How to Can Tomatoes

    RAW Chicken also Full

    NCHFP - How to Can Chicken

    You will have to compare how you did these foods to the proper procedures to determine if you wish to keep the foods.

    Recommend buying a copy of the recommended canning guidelines - the Ball Blue Book or using only the NCHFP Guidelines linked above for your safety.

    Sorry but it is a learning process. Please do NOT use your canning manual.


  • readinglady

    Pickyourown.org has some reliable information and some unreliable information. I think that's riskier than a site that's obviously unsafe, as a novice doesn't have the experience to separate out the good stuff from the bad.

    Since their best information comes from the NCHFP, you may as well go directly to the source and skip Pickyourown.org.

    The NCHFP is the official repository for USDA information and has a ton of information. In fact, you can read the USDA canning manual on their site, or download it to your computer.

    The NCHFP also offers a free online food preservation course. I think you would find it very helpful.

    The other sites I never heard of, but I will tell you that surviving something (like canning butter and then consuming it with no ill effects) doesn't mean it's risk-free. It just means you got lucky so far. Next time maybe not.

    I can't stress enough that you are taking big risks if you trust what you see online (including YouTube) without specific evidence of reliability and safety.

    I have never heard of the USDA testing something for free. Resources are very limited and Extension agencies are scrambling for money. I can't imagine they'd have the resources to test every jar that came in.

    But there is merit in checking your state's or region's Extension agency to see what services they do provide.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Clickable Map of Extension Services

  • Shelley Deal

    Can I safely can zucchini pureed zucchini soup with bacon in it?

  • digdirt2

    Check out the Split Pea soup instructions in the Ball Blue Book and follow its instructions. Otherwise, no. No, pureed foods require longer processing times because of the density and the soup instructions clearly say 1/2 liquid and 1/2 solids. So you would puree after opening the jars in most instances.


  • Snoop Puss

    There's a great looking recipe on Ball's website for canned carrot and fennel soup. Only problem is, my OH doesn't like fennel. Can I swap out the fennel for apple? He does like spiced carrot and apple soup... I'd purée before serving. Thanks for any advice.

  • digdirt2

    As long as you follow the 1/2 & 1/2 rule when filling the jars you are allowed a good amount of flexibility in the ingredients. So while subbing things as different as fennel and apples would usually be a problem, it usually isn't in soups.

    I didn't check that particular recipe but I assume that it calls for the standard PC processing times of 60-75 min.?


  • Snoop Puss

    Thanks for replying, Dave. I was hoping that would be the answer.

    Surprisingly, the processing times are shorter: quart jars for 50 minutes and pint jars for 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure, adjusting for altitude. Plus, they purée the soup before canning, which I found even more surprising. It was while I was checking that out that I came to this thread. I guess a standard processing time like you suggest would be safer. And no puréeing.

    The recipe is here:


    You'll see I asked them the same question about changing the ingredients. I didn't make a full batch of their recipe, as I wasn't sure OH would really like it, and so I didn't need to can it. Shame he didn't like it as I did.

  • digdirt2

    Yeah that is surprising. But Ball seems to be drifting away from some of the USDA guidelines in several of their newer recipes. USDA is pretty straight forward about no pureeing.


  • Snoop Puss

    I'm not sure if you're the moderator of this thread. If you want to delete my messages so as not to encourage people to think that pureeing is OK, feel free.

  • digdirt2

    No problem, no worries. Not a mod, just a long time participant and Ball recipes are still considered safe and approved - didn't mean to imply otherwise - as they do their own testing.

    It is just that in the past they always based their recipes on the USDA guidelines but since funding has been cut for USDA testing I guess Ball has started doing their own.

    Personally I tend to defer to USDA guidelines since they are what I am trained in. So if I had to choose between 2 sets of instructions - Ball's or USDA's - I'd defer to USDA. But then I'd have no interest in making carrot & fennel soup either. Too unusual for me. ;-)


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