Canning Soup: Adapt Your Recipe to Make It Safe for Home Canning

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Canning soup at home is a wonderful way to have quick lunches ready. There are just a few things to remember:

  • Can you can soup without a pressure canner? No, soups will always need to be pressure canned.
  • Do not add noodles, rice, flour, cream, or any milk or thickeners. All of these can be added when you heat the soup to serve it.
  • If you are using beans or peas, they must be cooked prior to canning.
  • The only ingredients you should use are ingredients that are safe to can. So that means since cabbage does not have a tested method of canning just by itself, it is not considered an acceptable ingredient. (I know! I hate that!) Sauerkraut is a pickled item, so that is different than canning just plain cabbage.
  • With these considerations in mind, canning vegetable soup at home is possible.
  • I have a recipe for canning homemade chicken soup on this page.
Canning jar filled with solid soup ingredients with a boiling pot of soup to the side.
Canning Meat and Meals Course to learn how to can meat safely at home.

This Page Includes:

Canning Soup: Extended, Step-By-Step Directions

First, cook any meats and vegetables. (Remove bones after cooking.)

If you are canning soup with beans, cook them by covering dried beans with water by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let soak for at least 1 hour. Drain.

Combine all solid ingredients and add whatever broth you may be using: chicken broth, beef broth, canned tomatoes, or water. Add spices and seasoning at this point as well. (See below for an important tip on seasonings.) You need at 2 times more liquid than solid ingredients.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remember: No dairy, thickeners, pasta, or rice when canning soup. These ingredients can be added later when you serve the soup.

Stirring a big pot of veggie soup that includes potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes.

Fill your jars. Fill each jar about halfway full with the solid ingredients. (I use a slotted spoon.) Then add the liquid to cover, leaving a 1-inch headspace.

There is a safety reason for this half solids and half liquids recommendation. The gist of it is that you want the heat to penetrate fully to the center of the jar. If your soup is too thick, it may not do so. With the wide variety of ingredients possible with these adaptation directions…half solid/half liquid will ensure that your ingredients are heated through.

In this image, you can see several jars where I’ve added the solids, then one jar on the right where I’ve added the liquid.

Various canning jars filled half of the way with solid ingredients and one jar filled with solid and liquid ingredients.

Having extra liquid can also be helpful if you’ll be adding noodles or rice when you serve it. (Don’t put noodles or rice in the jar! Canning soup a little…soupy…is a good thing.

Home Canning Vegetable Soup

Place your lids and process following pressure canning instructions.

Process pints 60 minutes, quarts 75 minutes. (If you are canning soup with seafood, you will need to process either pints or quarts for 100 minutes.)

Be sure to adjust processing according to your altitude using the charts below. For more information see this altitude adjustments page.

Recipe Card

Canning Soup

Canning soup at home is a wonderful way to have quick lunches ready. Here's how to can your very own mix safely.
Print Recipe
Pouring soup into a canning jar through a canning funnel with the pot of soup to the side.
Prep Time:4 hours
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time:5 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • Meat like beef, seafood, poultry, etc.
  • Vegetables 
  • Dried Beans
  • Broth like chicken broth, beef broth, canned tomatoes, water, etc.
  • Spices & seasonings

Instructions

  • Start by preparing your jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    If you are new to using a pressure canner, see this article for full pressure canning instructions. This includes more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.

For a Hot Pack

  • Precook meats by covering with water or broth. Boil until tender. Remove bones.
  • Precook vegetables according to hot pack instructions for that vegetable.
  • Precook beans by covering with water by several inches. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour. Drain. 
  • Combine all solid ingredients with seasonings and your choice of broth, tomatoes, or water.  You will need at least 2 times more liquid than solid ingredients.  
  • Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. 
  • Fill jar half of the way with solid ingredients.
  • Top off jar with broth, leaving 1” headspace. 
  • Remove bubbles, wipe the rim clean, and place on seal and ring. Place jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process in a pressure canner according to the directions below. 

Notes

Processing with a Pressure Canner
Place the jars in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the prepared hot canner. 
Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off.  Bring to a boil. Watch for the steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid.
Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart below) This is when pressure will start to build.  
When the pressure reaches the pressure required for your altitude (check the chart below) that is when you’ll start your time.  Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
When processing time is completed turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.
Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (carefully don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes.
Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)
Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, and store the jars in a cool dark place.
Processing Instructions (Hot Pack) 
Process pints for 60 minutes or quarts for 75 minutes, adjusting for altitude. (If canning with seafood, process pints or quarts for 100 minutes.) 
Altitude Adjustments for Pressure Canner  
Altitude – Weighted Gauge 
0-1,000 ft – 10 pounds
1,001-8,000 ft – 15 pounds
Altitude – Dial Gauge
0-2,000 ft – 11 pounds
2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds  
4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds 
6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds
 
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation 

Canning Soup Tips & FAQs

Canning Potato Soup

“Sharon, I made a big Crockpot full of potato soup, and all that was left I decided to can for later…when I opened one of the jars it was spoiled…what did I do wrong?? I love checking your site for different ideas and recipe… please keep them coming, and in advance, thank you for your help with this.

Answer:

It is hard to say without knowing just what was in your soup and how you processed it. My guess is you have cream or some other dairy in your soup. And unfortunately, that is not recommended for canning.

More on Canning Pureed Soup

“Hello Sharon, I have read that you should not be canning pureed soup and I am wondering if this is true and why not? Also if I make vegetable soup and put small, cooked pasta in it, can that be canned? Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your support.

Answer:

Karen, it is true that canning pureed soup is not advised. There have been no tests done to determine safety. It all has to do with the density of purees. What you can do is can your ingredients and then puree the soup when you serve it. Use regular safety measures like any other canned soup.

And it is also true that pasta has not been tested for safety in home canning. I get comments all the time saying that since commercially canned soups contain pasta, we can do it also. But the issue is equipment.

Commercial processes use different equipment than home canners have available. We cannot assume that if we can buy soups with pasta or rice that it is still safe to add the same ingredients for home canning also. It is not.

Some Oil/Grease Left in the Soup?

“I canned some vegetable soup with turkey sausage. I followed the USDA website canning guidelines for canning soup. The soup has set for 24 hours, and I have removed the screw bands and checked the seals, which are good. However, I have noticed that there is a slight oily layer on top of the soup. I drained the turkey sausage before adding it to the soup, but obviously did not get it all. I have read that fat cannot be safely canned, but is a very slight oily layer on top okay?

Answer:

Yes, when you are canning soup with meat, there may be some oils left in your soup. That is fine. You do want to get as much fat out as you can, but some may remain. As long as you drained the meat and followed all the other safety precautions, it is not a problem.

Can I Add Sour Cream While Canning Soup?

“I have a wonderful recipe for potato soup, which has quickly become a favorite in our household. I have canned chili, stews and other soups, but not sure on this recipe. It calls for 3/4 c of sour cream for one batch. Can I safely add this to my soup, then can it? Just not sure if the sour cream would break down during the pressure process. Thanks! Elizabeth”

Answer:

Elizabeth, it is not recommended that you can anything with dairy products. What I would do is try canning it without the sour cream or any other dairy, instead adding those ingredients later when you serve it.

Potato soup is a favorite at our house too. I almost always make it after a ham dinner with the leftover mashed potatoes and ham gravy as a base. My secret ingredient is chicken broth. The broth adds a wonderfully rich flavor. YUM!

How Long Will Homemade Soup Last in a Canning Jar Once Processed?

Generally, most home canned goods will last for at least a year. You can still use the soup, even if it has been longer than the 1-year mark, but the quality starts going down at that point. So if it has been a year, don’t throw it away! Just pull it to the front of the cupboard and make a plan to use it up soon.

What About Canning Cream Of Soups, Butternut Squash Soup, Tomato Soup, & Other Pureed Soups?

It is not recommended that you can pureed-style soups, so I do not give directions for this.
However, what I would do is make the soup and can it prior to pureeing! Just can it chunky (kind of like canning vegetable soup). Then when you open the jar to serve it, puree it at that point. Simple solution!

Can I use my own seasonings when I’m canning soup?

Remember, some seasonings get strong when canned. For instance, sage is one that is noted for getting too strong. If you use bay leaves in your soup, be sure and remove them before you jar it up. The particular jar that ends up with the leaf will be very strong if you leave it! I keep our seasonings very simple. Salt and pepper are what goes in most things in my pantry.

How much Liquid should I put in my home canned soup? What should I do if I run out of broth?

In the directions, you’ll notice I state to first fill your jar half of the way with solids, and then top them off with your liquid. Filling each jar about halfway full with solid ingredients is a safety issue. Please do not skip this. If you have half solid and half liquid, the heat will penetrate fully throughout the jar. 

Be sure you have enough broth that you will be able to cover the solid ingredients in the jar. You’ll want twice the amount of liquid to solid ingredients.  If you realize you will not have enough liquid to fill your jars, there is a simple fix: Top off the jar with a bit of hot chicken broth or water. 

If you realize you will not have enough liquid to fill your jars, there is a simple fix. Evenly distribute the soup base you do have. Then, if needed, top off each jar with a bit of chicken broth. (Heat it up first.) This has worked well for me.

You could just add water if you don’t have extra broth, but it may dilute the flavor if you add too much. If you only need a little bit of extra liquid, hot water works fine.

How safe is what I’m doing? I make a large pot of venison vegetable soup, tomato based, boil the noodles separate, put the noodles in the sterilized jar, bring the soup to a boil and fill the jar. That’s it.”

Yes, canning your own venison vegetable soup is okay. However, soups should not be canned with any pasta, thickeners, or dairy products. What you should do is can the soup without the noodles, and then just add the noodles when you open the jar later. Also, you really MUST pressure can soup. Botulism is a risk, so any vegetables or meat (and your soup contains both) must be pressure canned.

Can Vegetables Be Fully Cooked for Home Canning Soup?

Video Transcript – Edited for Clarity

This question comes from Karen in Canada. She asks, “Hello, I was wondering about canning soups with vegetables. I have found they can get mushy when being processed for so long. Is it possible to cook just a little and then let them finish cooking while processing?”

Actually, Karen, that is exactly what you do when you’re canning soup with vegetables. To properly can your own soup recipe, you partially cook those vegetables. You only partially cook those veggies and then combine everything together.

You simmer it, and then you put it in your jars and process. I don’t know this from your letter, but I’ve had people ask this question before. They make an overabundance of soup for supper, with the intention of canning leftovers. It doesn’t work very well, because, like you said, the vegetables are fully cooked already. They will be fully cooked again in the canner, and then you’ll end up with soft vegetables. Don’t count on canning leftovers. Prepare the food specifically for canning instead.

If you have leftovers, just put them in the freezer for later. When you’re making your vegetable soup, follow the directions and techniques for adapting your recipe to be safe for home canning. You should have a good product in the end.

I hope that was helpful. You guys have a great day, and we will see you in the next video!

Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe that’s safe for canning? Yes, it’s here!

Homemade Chicken Broth pressure canning instructions and preserving tips.

Pin This to Find Later:

Canning Soup

Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation

Page last updated: 6/30/2021

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Mzalev
Mzalev
5 months ago

I skimmed my turkey fat and then Jared and pressure canned it for 40 min from a cold broth is this ok?

Samantha
Samantha
10 months ago

Hello, could I use a boxed chicken broth as my soup base?
Is it possible/advisable to add zucchini to a vegetable soup?
Does the processing time still need to be 75 minutes for quarts if there is no meat in the soup?
This is my first year ever canning and I appreciate your recipes!

Laurie AL
Laurie AL
1 year ago

I know the comment was old, but with regard to adding sausage to soup and having some oil floating in it. While you drained the bulk of the fat off, to get more fat off the cooked meat, after draining, run the sieve full of meat under a hot running tap. It will wash away quite a bit more fat. Drain well and use.

Lincoln Powell
Lincoln Powell
1 year ago

Hey, I’m sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but I am new to pressure canning and i wanted to try canning my moms meat sauce. She uses Knorrs dry cream of mushroom soup mix. It looks like it has some wheat flour, skim milk, cornstarch, and thickener (locust bean gum). Can this dry mix be used in a pressure canner? Thanks

Lincoln Powell
Lincoln Powell
1 year ago

Ah, ok thanks. And, no that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Really interested in my new pressure canner and what I can do. I also respect that there are do’s and don’ts, and I want to be sure I am safe. I canned some whitefish I caught and it worked pretty well. 3 of 4 cans were good, one smelled a little different/fishy, so I tossed it. Are there any for sure tells that something didn’t can properly? Thanks again

Chris LaGuardia
Chris LaGuardia
1 year ago

I have Ball jars and I want to put my turkey soup in them. Can I just do that and keep the until I’m ready to eat the soup?

Pat
Pat
1 year ago

Should I add lemon juice to my vegetable soup

Sarah R Milam
Sarah R Milam
2 years ago

Do I leave canned soup out of the refrigerator? If it has been refrigerated can I leave it out afterwards?

Marion sage
Marion sage
2 years ago

I made a very tasty veggie conglomerate stew, it has the 15 bean mix,barley,carrots, parsnips,turnips, backchoy, and potatoes in it .I live at between 6 and 8 thousand feet I have a pressure canner so no worries there, but I’m not sure about the canning times. Can you help. Thank you .

Teresa Trettin
Teresa Trettin
2 years ago

I would like to can soup for Manhattan clam chowder. I planned to make the soup a tomato vegetable base and add the clams and bacon later at the time of heating. Do potatoes can well and would I pressure can at the longest time of the vegetable that requires it? Also has anyone else tried this?

Rachael Gardner
Rachael Gardner
2 years ago

Does a soup that is completely cooked still need to go into a pressure cooker or can it be in a hot water bath. I apologize for such a basic question I’m new to this and learning. Thank you in advance

Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years ago

Hi, Karen.

This recipe from Ball is a pureed carrot soup. Would it have been tested and safe since it is from Ball? I’m nervous because I just made it.

I also have a question about fish soup. I thought processing time for fish by itself was quite long- over 100 minutes. Is the 100 minutes less because of the density of soup vs the density of a jar packed with fish?

Thanks for your amazing site!!

Delores Gibson
Delores Gibson
2 years ago

I need a good okra corn tomato soup recipe for canning

Delores Gibson
Delores Gibson
2 years ago

Help!. First time canning veg. soup over filled with veg. I have little liquid at the top. Can I correct this and re-pressure cook them again?

Delma Mae Causey
Delma Mae Causey
3 years ago

Came across this while researching soups in the pressure canner. Lucky find. Thank you for the info.

Dionne Blanchard
Dionne Blanchard
3 years ago

Hi I am thinking about making a broccoli soup using the small stems and small florets from the almost done broccoli plants of winter. I understand the reason for leaving whole or small pieces as apposed to pureed and will blend when taking out of the jar. I will be using broccoli, onions, maybe carrots, dry seasoning and chicken stock as the liquid. Can you give me an idea given these ingredients how long I should pressure can? Thanks in advance for your help.

Jessica
Jessica
3 years ago

Have you ever canned tomato soup? I have my own recipe that I love and want to can it and know people do can tomato soup but it’s a purée.

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

Hi, Jessica!

You could can your own plain tomato sauce, for example (directions here: https://www.simplycanning.com/canning-tomato-sauce/). However, most tomato soup recipes contain dairy, which isn’t safe for canning. I would suggest canning the tomatoes plain, and then adding other ingredients when you go to serve the soup. That’s what Sharon does for her tomato soup too: https://www.simplycanning.com/tomato-soup-recipe/

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Gregg
Gregg
3 years ago

I just read here that you can’t can cabbage or broccoli, is it safe if it’s in a vegetable soup in small amounts?

Maureen Pelland
Maureen Pelland
3 years ago

Can you can cooked soup? I have recently made a Kale, chicken lemon soup, then pressure canned. Also did blended mushroom as well as blended carrot squash. Thank you!

Sue Worster
Sue Worster
3 years ago

Can I safely can broccoli soup if I leave the Broccoli in pieces and leave out the cream? When I open it I will add the cream and puree the broccoli then. I never see anyone can broccoli.

Dionne Blanchard
Dionne Blanchard
3 years ago
Reply to  Sue Worster

If I’d have scrolled down my question would have been answered LOL

Amber
Amber
3 years ago

Great site! Thanks for sharing!