Canned Tomato Soup is a comfort food for many. A homemade version is better; made with summer fresh tomatoes and canned for winter-long freshness. Grilled cheese anyone?
So many times it’s been argued that soups or stews are an autumn or a cold winter’s day meal. I disagree. We like soups or stews any time of the year. Especially tomato soup! To be honest, our pantry always has a few cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. But, with so many summer tomatoes on hand, I prepared a homemade version can canned it so that we could have fresh tomato soup all winter long!
Unlike store-bought canned tomato soup, this recipe leaves out the cream. I have only ever heard horror stories of canning cream soups, so I left it out. I like the soup just as it is, but one can add a splash of cream when re-heating if desired.
This soup has a deep red colour, and fresh tomato flavour, and a bit of smokiness too. That particular flavour comes from a bit of smoked paprika and from charring the tomatoes and onions. It’s a process, but it’s so worth it!
CHARRING VEGETABLES IS A REWARDING EXPERIENCE!
Dear Reader, getting a good char on tomatoes is an art form. Not in the you-can’t-do-this type of art, but artful in the way that something so simple transforms into something so beautiful. I’m not sure if it’s just me and my love of good food or not, but I truly do get excited when I take a sheet pan out of the oven that’s loaded down with roasted vegetables.
I love the look of them – the charred bits, the shrinkage, and the darkened colours. Oh, and I can’t forget that gorgeous tinted liquid at the bottom of the pan!
Truth be told, Dear Reader, the only thing bad about roasting tomatoes is cleaning that damn sheet pan! I’ve tried different ways to get my lazy self out of cleaning the baking sheet, but none of my efforts proved to be successful.
A silicone baking mat, parchment paper, or tin foil will not work. To really get the vegetables to roast up nicely, they need to be in contact with the metal pan. Yes, it’s a scrubbing nightmare, but it’s so worth it! Trust me! My advice to you is to use an old sheet pan. Don’t use your new, expensive William Sonoma sheet pan for this recipe. (Like I did!)
SMOOTH OR CHUNKY
When it comes to finishing your Canned Tomato Soup, you have the option of smooth or chunky. I prefer a smooth tomato soup. It’s just better for dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into! But, some prefer a chunky version and that’s fine too.
You can puree the entire pot of soup using a hand-held immersion blender. Leave it in there until the soup is very smooth. Alternatively, you can remove half of the soup from the pot. Place it in a blender and puree it. Add it back to the soup for a smoother soup with chunky bits of tomato and onions too. You can have it both ways!
How do you finish your tomato soup? I like to stir in a little bit of heavy cream and top it with some fresh parmesan cheese. And, rather than a grilled cheese sandwich, I prefer grilled crostini. I love the crunchy, toasted bread with the creamy, silky soup. Yum!
This soup is good straight out of the jar too. And, because it’s in a glass jar, you can easily transport this to work for a great tasting lunch. All you need to do is remove the lid and seal. Pop the jar of soup into the microwave for a minute. Sit back, and watch your colleagues drool because your lunch is better than theirs!
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Canned Tomato Soup
- 16 250 ml mason jars with screw bands and new, unused sealing discs.
- Pressure Canner
- Jar Wrench/Lifter
- Canning Funnel
- Non-metallic Bubble Remover
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
- 21 pounds plum (roma) tomatoes cored and sliced in half lengthwise
- 3 large white onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Wash tomatoes well. Remove core and half each tomato lengthwise. Place tomatoes cut side down onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pack the tomatoes tightly, but do not overlap. Broil until skin has charred and blackened. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes. Use metal tongs to pull off the charred skins and discard. Transfer tomatoes to large soup pot. You will need to do these in batches until all tomatoes have been peeled.
- Repeat step one with the onions – broil until charred. Add to pot with tomatoes.
- Add all other ingredients to the pot and stir well to combine. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, wash the mason jars and screw lids in soapy water and rinse soap off well under running hot water. Place clean jars on a baking sheet and place in oven preheated to 200 degrees. Set screw bands aside. Next, boil a kettle of water and pour into a clean glass bowl. Carefully submerge the sealing discs in the bowl of hot water. Set aside.
- Once the soup is cooked, use a hand-held immersion blender to puree until smooth. Alternatively, you can puree in batches using a counter-top blender.
- Remove the sterilized jars from the oven. Ladle the soup into prepared mason jars using a funnel to prevent the mixture from touching the rim of the jars. Leave 1 inch head space.
- Wipe down the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel to ensure none of the soup has come in contact with the rim.
- Carefully remove the sealing discs from the hot water with a magnetic lid lifter. Position the sealing disc directly onto the lid of the jars. Do not touch the underside of the lid.
- Screw on the screw bands until firm – do not apply pressure! Just use your fingertips to tighten the screw bands.
- Next, prepare your pressure canner according to the instructions for your particular brand, make, or model.
- Using the jar lifter, place the jars into the canner and place the lid on securely.
- Process for 20 minutes using a 10 pound (69 kPa) weighted gauge. Be sure to adjust pressure for your altitude if over 1000 feet. Time the processing from the time the canner has reached full pressure. Once done, turn off the heat and allow canner to de-compress naturally.
- Carefully remove each jar from the canner using the jar lifter. Do not tilt the jars or try to wipe them dry. Place jars onto a wire cooling rack that has been covered with a clean kitchen towel.
- Leave the jars to cool for a minimum of 12 hours. Once cooled, wipe the jars of any residue that might have been transferred to the outside of the jar during the boiling process. Label the jars and store in a dark, cool cabinet.
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