A friend of mine made some tomato soup this year, and I thought it sounded like a good idea! My husband likes to cook pigeons (stuffed cabbage…not birds!) in the crock pot with tomato soup. It also goes great with toasted cheese sandwiches, or as a nice hot lunch on a chilly fall Saturday.
I am not a huge tomato soup fan. But I think even I may eat the soup made with this recipe!
This soup was the first thing we made and canned because it needed to reduce the least of any other tomato product we made. We used tomatoes fresh from the garden while the other frozen tomato juice was thawing. I do not know how many tomatoes we started with. We just chopped, cooked, and ran through the food mill whatever we had. If you’d like to see how we prepare our tomatoes, you can check out this post. Then, we measured five quarts of the tomato juice into a stock pot.
I chopped up a large, yellow onion and four stalks of celery and put them in the tomato juice to cook and soften. We also chopped up 1 ½ large cloves of garlic.
I stirred in Italian seasoning, brown sugar, and salt. We used 1 ½ Tbsp. brown sugar and 1 Tbsp salt, but you can add more or less depending on your tastes.
We tossed in 3 bay leaves and 10 whole cloves. I would advise tying them in a bundle in cheesecloth before putting them into the soup. The bay leaves were not too difficult to find, but trying to fish 10 tiny cloves out of a pot of tomato soup filled with chunks of vegetables was kind of like a miniature circus! Between my mom scooping veggies out with a strainer and me picking through each scoop with a fork, we successfully retrieved all of the cloves! It was a tedious affair, to say the least!
Once the pieces of celery and onion were soft, I blended everything with an immersion blender (like this one…I love my immersion blender! It comes in handy for so many food adventures!) until the soup was as smooth as I could get it. No one wants to bite into a big hunk of garlic in their soup!
We pressure canned the soup, mainly because I was unsure of the acidity levels after adding all the vegetables. We processed the pints for 15 minutes. (This has not been tested by any food safety agencies, so if you choose to can this recipe, it is at your own risk. If you are unsure of the processing time, you can leave them in the canner for longer.)
While in the pressure canner, some of the soup separated. And by that, I mean the pulp floated to the top and the juice settled in the bottom. But after giving them a good shake after they were sealed and cooled, they combined again.
This soup is rather thin, and can be thickened using butter and flour. I recommend not thickening the soup before canning it. During my research, I read an article stating that canning recipes containing butter, even pressure canning, is unsafe. I decided to err on the side of caution and just thicken the soup when I prepare it instead.
Even if the tomatoes in your garden are over (my husband ripped out our plants two days ago, after we were finished picking), I highly recommend saving this recipe for next canning season! You can pin it on Pinterest here.
How do you like to enjoy your tomato soup? Do you add chunky vegetables or ground meat? Or do you like to dip a grilled cheese sandwich in a steaming bowl of soup? I would love to hear about it!
5 quarts tomato juice
1 large onion
1 ½ cloves garlic
4 stalks celery
3 bay leaves
10 whole cloves
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 ½ Tbsp. Brown sugar (or to taste)
1 Tbsp. Salt (or to taste)
Roughly chop all vegetables and add to tomato juice. Add all other ingredients. Cook over medium low heat until vegetables are soft. Remove cloves and bay leaves. Blend with immersion blender.
Process pints in pressure canner 15 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure.
Thicken with butter and flour (if desired) before serving.