It’s Time to Can Soup and Chili

by J.R. Coffey

It is hard to believe another canning season will soon be over.  This is the best time of year to can soups to have for the Winter ahead.  Hunters will soon be going out and I have included directions on how to can beef or venison.  All of these make for quick meals.  Just heat and serve.  You also do not have to worry if the power goes off and losing your food.  I will give you some general information for all of the recipes that will follow:

General Directions for Soups

1). I prefer to make my broth or stock the day before.  This allows you to skim off the excess fat and discard it or use it for soap.  Some fat should be left in, but too much will prevent jars from sealing.

2). Prepare all vegetables just as you would to cook.  Peel and chop or dice every vegetables.  String and cut or break green beans, shell limas or peas, cut corn off of cob etc.  Some of this can be done the day before and items refrigerated to finish the next day.  Soup spoils easily so work with help or in amounts you can do quickly.

3). Leave 1” headspace in all jars.  Clean jar rims and seal.  Failure to clean jar rims can result in seal failure.

4) Process all soups by one of the Methods given below:

    Boiling Water Bath (cold pack): 3 hours (pints or quarts)

   Pressure Canner: Pints: 60 minutes; quarts 75 minutes at 10-11 pounds pressure.

A Pressure Canner is the safest method for all soups and meat.  Vegetable soup can be very difficult to can in a boiling water bath.  Most others I have successfully canned in the water bath.  Some recipes will have a different processing time.  Use the one given with the recipe.

Beef or Chicken Stock

5 pounds chicken pieces or a stewing hen or use legs and thighs or beef bones

1 ½ gallons water

Celery, Onion and Carrots as desired

1 Bay leaf, ¼ t. peppercorns

Cook all together slowly until meat is tender and remove meat and bones and allow the meat to cool.  Bone the meat and add to the broth. If using all bones, cook the stocks 2 to 4 hours, with beef being the longest.  I prefer to put all my ingredients in a pressure canner and cook at 15 pounds for 20 to 30 minutes for chicken stock and 45 to 60 minutes for beef stock.  Let pressure reduce on its own.  Strain the broth and cool it and skim the fat.  My friends Robin and Mark Way adds garlic to their stock.  She also cans it for future use.  To Can the stock, fill the jars, leaving 1” headspace.  Clean jar rims and seal. Process by one of the methods below:

Water Bath: 3 hours (pints and quarts)

Pressure  Canner: Pints: 45 minutes; quarts 60 minutes at 10 to 11 pounds pressure.  Some canning books process pints 20 minutes; quarts 25 minutes at the same pressure.  I like the longer time especially if meat is added to it.  The Ways can theirs using the water bath. You can also add nothing but chicken and water to make a borth if you desire as well.  This is what I always did as we liked it rather not so highly flavored.

Chicken Vegetable Soup (for Canning)

The following two recipes comes from an Amish friend, Mrs. Beechy.

2 quarts cooked chicken

2 gallons chicken stock

1 C. chicken base

4 qts. Potatoes, diced

2 qts. Carrots, diced

4 qts. Green beans

2 qts. Corn, cut from cob

1 pt. celery, chopped

2 C. green peppers(chopped, optional)

1 hot pepper(optional)

4 garlic cloves

1 pt. lima beans

1 pint Kidney beans or use all lima beans

Put all into a 20 qt. pot and add water to fill the pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.  Fill jars, seal and process as directed under General Directions.


Vegetable Beef Soup 1

2 qts cooked beef

2 gallons beef broth

4 T. canning salt

1 hot pepper (optional)

2 garlic cloves (optional)

2 onions

2 C. celery

4 C. carrots

4 C. green beans

4 C. sweet corn

6 C. potatoes

4 qts.tomatoes, peeled, cored and diced

Combine all ingredients in a 20 qt. kettle and add water as needed to fill pt.  You can add some beef base if you want it stronger, but watch the salt as beef base has a lot of salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.  Can as directed above.


Vegetable Beef Soup 2

1 gallon broth with cooked beef

1 ½ qts. Cabbage, roughly chopped

1 ½ qts. Carrots

1 qt. celery

1 qt. potatoes

2 qts. Tomatoes, cooked

1 qt. green beans

1 qt. lima beans

1 qt. cooked soup beans (can used canned-navy or pinto)

1 pt. onions

1 ½ qts. Corn

Combine all ingredients and add additional broth or tomato juice or water to desired consistency.  You can add beef base, if desired.  Bring to a boil and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.  Can as directed above.


This recipe was my late Mom’s favorite and I canned a lot of it for her.

3 pounds lean hamburger

1 small onions, chopped

1 qt. kidney beans, cooked

Brown Sugar, to taste if desired

1 to 1 ½ T. chili powder

1 qt. spaghetti sauce (home-canned or Prego)

4 qts. Tomato juice(home-canned)

1 qt. water

Brown hamburger and onion.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.  Can as directed above. Makes 10-14 pints.  We always water bath canned this one.

Taco Soup

My late Mom also like this one for a change of taste.

3 pounds lean hamburger

1 to 2 pkg. taco seasoning mix

2 small onions, chopped

1 qt. corn (fresh or frozen)

1 qt. water

1 qt. pizza sauce (I use home-canned)

Sugar to taste

2 (15 oz.) cans chili beans

Brown hamburger and onions.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 15 minutes.  Can as directed above.  Makes 8 to 12 pints.  We always water bath canned this one as well.


Just Like Campbell’s Tomato Soup (for Canning)

This is another of my late Mom’s favorite soups.  You can can it now while tomatoes are in.

¼ C. onions, chopped

1 ½ C. butter (only)

2 ¼ C. flour

¾ C. sugar

¼ C. canning salt

1 ¼ t. black pepper or less

6 to 7 qts.tomato juice

Saute onions and butter until onions are tender, but not brown.  Add flour, sugar, salt and pepper and cook like making a roux.  Allow to cook for several minutes to cook out flour taste.  Add tomato juice gradually.  I like cool tomato juice at the first and then hot to avoid lumps.  Cook for several minutes until thickened and smooth.  Fill jars, leaving 1” headspace.  Wipe jar rims and seal.  Process by one of the methods given below:

Water Bath (Cold Pack): 45 minutes (half pints/pints); 60 minutes, quarts.

Pressure Canner: 10 to 15 minutes (pints or quarts) at 10 to 11 pounds pressure.

When serving,I add 1/8 t. baking soda to a half pint and heat well and then add the same amount of cold milk and heat well to serve.

Canned Beef or Venison

Cut meat in pieces as to serve.  Remove all fat from venison.  Pack into clean jars, leaving 1” headspace.  Add salt as in normal canning.  You can add water or none at all.  I have canned meat both ways.  I like it without water, but for Fair completion I do add water as it looks better in the jars.

Clean jar rims and seal.  Process by one of the methods below:

Water Bath (Cold Pack): 3 to 4 hours (pints or quarts)

Pressure Canner: Pints: 75 minutes; quarts: 90 minutes at 10 to 11 pounds pressure.

This is excellent for beef stew, BBQ Beef or many other uses.

Venison can be soaked overnight in salt and vinegar (1/2 C. canning salt and 1 C. cider vinegar to a bucket of water)  Drain, rinsed and canned with no added salt or you can soak it for 12 hours in a Tenderquick curing solution using twice the amount of water the package directions call for.  Drain and rinse the meat.  Pack and add 1 t. liquid smoke, if desired and can.  No additional salt is used and it will taste like ham.


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