Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home Canned Tomato Soup

 Looking for a way to use those small cherry tomatoes or the medium sized tomatoes that just aren't big enough to bother slipping their skins off to can as stewed tomatoes?  Wow, that was a long sentence. Well, I've got just the recipe for you. 

I use this recipe with a few changes here and there. Don't act shocked, you know I can't keep my hands off a recipe. I do promise you that the changes are improvements and that this recipe, if modified in ways I will soon reveal, will become one of your favorites too. My daughters think it makes the most wonderful addition to home made chili. Curious yet, read on.  
Let's head out to the garden and pick those ripe little tomatoes and  begin cooking.

Some of you will be glad to know I've skipped the cooking of the whole medium to large tomatoes in hot water just until the skins slip off stage. For me time is of essence so I just put my small to medium or even large tomaotes in the blender with the skins on, of course minus the hard little top piece where the tomato attaches to the vine. Be sure and push the button to chop only after you've the lid on tight because a red ceiling is not what were after here.

10 quarts of tomatoes is what the recipe calls for but I have a tendency not to measure the tomatoes and the following ingredients when I shrink the recipe way down. Exactness is not one of my strong points. Sh... don't tell the County Extension agent. They get all huffy about such things.

For you special folks, I'm going to try and keep these instructions clear, though they might end up clear as mud, by giving the process  and not the proportions first. The actual amounts will come at the end.

If your tomatoes are all blended then this next stage is where the V-8 type vegetable juice and the tomato soup recipe change a bit, though you can certainly make the V-8 type juice and use it as tomato soup. Confused yet? 
Continue on anyway, maybe this will help. Next, put your blended tomatoes in this thing-a-ma-jingy. Sorry, I don't know it's proper name, and move the wooden block around and round. The skins and seeds will be left in the cone frame and the juice will go into the bowl. Be sure and give the seeds and skins to the chickens or put them into your mulch pile for the garden. 

Then take a cup of this juice and put it back into the blender along with celery, onions, and bell peppers. That's so when you push the chop button, the vegetables won't get stalled in chunks encircling the blades.

This is whereV-8 juice and tomato soup  depart from each other-- if you choose.  For V-8 juice put all the vegetables and tomato puree into a stew pot and simmer for an hour or two. Then put this mixture back through the thing-a-ma-jingy to leave the small vegetable junks behind. That gives you V-8 type of juice for drinking.

If you want tomato soup and you like a little texture, then you simply dump the chunks in with the tomatoes and skip the step of simmering on the stove. You simply get the mixture hot to pour into clean canning jars. 

This next part is where the recipe and I really part ways. It calls for using margarine (which I'd never use but instead substitute butter in it's place), and flour to thicken the soup along with salt of course.

I'm uncomfortable about using the flour, don't ask me why because I haven't a good reason. Beyond that icky feeling about putting flour in canning, I like to leave my options open to how I will use my tomaote vegetable mixture. If I thicken the soup, then it isn't quite as suitable to use in Italian dishes and in chili and I don't need all the fat the butter adds.

So I just can it without and then add a touch flour to thicken along with some fresh goats milk when I make the canned tomato/ vegetable mixture into soup.

Adding flour and butter also messes up the V-8 juice drink and as for the salt, well, Kirk likes it without and I like mine salted so skipping it means we can both salt our final product to suit our taste buds.

Now for the final unveiling of the recipe that I kind of follow. LOL

Tomatoe Soup
10 quarts tomatoes 
2 or 3 green bell peppers
2 or 3 celery stalks
2 or 3 onions
(Process in any one of the methods I mention above)
To the hot mixture above add
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 pound butter
1/4 cup salt
Mix as you would gravy to fully incorporate the butter and flour.

Make sure it is hot and then pour into clean canning jars. Screw on canning lids and pressure cook  for 30 minutes at 12 pounds pressure. 12 pounds because we are at 5000 feet elevation so adjust according to where you live.

I haven't given you any detailed instructions on the proper method of canning so if you are a beginner, you'll need to crack open a canning book for those.

Voila, I finnaly gave you the recipe.

Since frost will certainly be coming one of these days, for those of up way up north, and all our tomatoes - never - ever all turn ripe before it does, if you request, I'll give you an awesome recipe for green tomato relish that is great on hamburgers and hot dogs.

So get to asking by either commenting on this blog site or e-mailing me at I'm lonely all by myself canning eight boxes of fruit and four boxes of tomatoes and my garden produce of green beans, concord grapes................. Oh my, I'm so insane. LOL 

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