When you open a jar of home canned Vegetable Beef Soup, you are opening a jar of one of the best winter comfort foods you can find. Served with a loaf of fresh homemade bread, you have not only a feast, but a simple meal, as well.
The beauty of home canned Vegetable Beef Soup is that you now have a way to use up all the leftover vegetables that didn’t fit in the pot, or those that only produced enough to eat fresh, yet with enough remaining but still not enough to can.
The Ingredients You Use for Home Canned Vegetable Beef Soup
For the most part, if it is a vegetable you love, you can add it to your soup pot. But there are a couple of those vegetables that come in different varieties, and one works better than the others.
Take the potatoes, for instance. You can use a baking potato, if you peel it first. But baking potatoes are softer by nature, and have a tendency to turn to mush when cooked in soup. Red potatoes (or what we here in the south call ‘new’ potatoes) are a bit firmer and hold up better. With red potatoes, you have the added benefit of not having to peel them before adding them to the soup.
If your red potatoes are small, just wash them well and toss them in. If they are a bit larger, you can half, quarter or dice them into bite-sized pieces.
With the corn and green bean, you can use the canned variety if you didn’t put up your own. The carrots and onions can be home grown or store bought, and don’t have to be cooked prior to adding them.
As for the diced tomatoes, you can either chop up those leftover fresh tomatoes and add them, or use the canned variety. I have also exchanged the diced tomatoes with a jar of our Cajun Tomatoes.
Don’t limit yourself to these vegetables (or spices). Add what you have on hand, and what you like. You can toss in some Lima or other types of beans; English peas; turnips…let your refrigerator, freezer, pantry and imagination help you create your own soup. (In place of the store-bought canned vegetables, we use the ones we canned over the summer – but either work equally well.) Also, I use a chuck roast. The meat just seems to turn out tenderer than a sirloin – PLUS, I like my steaks grilled to medium-rare perfection!
Where adding beef to your home canned Vegetable Beef Soup, you can omit it if you choose. A sirloin steak also works well. But when we make up a big pot, we prefer to use a Chuck Roast. When cooked in a pot of home canned Vegetable Beef Soup, it just comes out more tender than any other meat.
You do need to prepare your beef before adding it to the soup pot. Cube your choice of meat into 1” pieces. In a zip-top bag, place 1/2 cup of flour and season it with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste (usually 1/2 teaspoon will work well – but feel free to add more if you prefer). Add the beef cubes to the bag, seal, and shake until all pieces are coated with the flour mixture.
In a skillet or pot, melt 1 Tablespoon of shortening. Add beef cubes, and cook until completely browned. Remove from pan and add to the soup pot. The beef will continue to cook while the soup is simmering.
The Recipe for Home Canned Vegetable Beef Soup
This makes a small batch – probably enough for supper tonight. If you want to can the leftovers, double or triple the recipe. Just know – home canned Vegetable Beef Soup is a ‘to taste’ recipe. You can add, omit or substitute any of the meat, vegetables or spices.
However, if you are making home canned Vegetable Beef Soup, you will not be able to omit the salt. Salt is a requirement in many home canned items – especially if they are pressure canned. If you are not sure about this part of canning, be sure to brush up on safe canning practices.
- 3 red potatoes (cubed)
- 3 carrots (peeled and sliced,)
- 1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
- 1 can green beans (drained)
- 1 sirloin steak or chuck roast (cubed)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- Spices: I use garlic powder, salt, seasoned pepper, thyme and Tony Chachere’s, all to taste – about 1 heaping teaspoon each)
In a large stock pot, add all the ingredients and spices. Top with enough water to cover vegetables with at least 1” of water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors have blended well – approximately 1 to 2 hours. Occasionally, check to make sure there is enough liquid, adding water if necessary.
How to Can Vegetable Beef Soup:
Home canned Vegetable Beef Soup requires pressure canning. Keep your soup hot. Sterilize enough jars to accommodate the amount of soup you have (1 Pint Jar = 2 cups; 1 Quart = 4 cups). Ladle soup into hot jars to within 1” of the top. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, with additional soup.
Wipe the rims clean and place flats and rings on top. Screw ring on until finger-tight. Process at 10 pounds of pressure: Pints for 55 minutes; Quarts for 85 minutes.
I have not gone into the actual pressure canning process here. If you do not know how to pressure can, PLEASE read how to do it, and be very careful. Pressure canning can be dangerous – from a pot full of broken jars to serious burns and worse. If you aren’t comfortable pressure canning, you can fill plastic containers with soup that has been cooled, top it securely, label it, and pop it in the freezer. Both ways still give you plenty of tasty soup for the winter!
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