When I can soups I keep the recipe as simple as possible. If I keep the ingredients basic, I can add others when it is served, giving me more options.
Last evening I did the prep work on the ingredients for this soup. This recipe calls for the following per pint jar, layered in no particular order:
1/3 cup of dry white beans that have been sorted and washed
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced ham
2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder
water to fill jar
The jars are processed in a pressure canner for 75 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure for my altitude. The beans will cook through and expand while processing. The recipe can be doubled for quarts that are processed for 90 minutes. I ran through a canner load of 16 pints.
Some instructions for similar soups call for more beans. I am reluctant to use more because the beans fully expand in the canner. Too many beans in the jar will push the lids off when they expand, leaving a nasty mess in the canner and the loss of your jars of soup.
Some serve the soup as is with just the addition of salt and pepper. Others add a variety of spices and seasonings to taste. Some like the addition of tomatoes or tomato powder for a different flavor. There are all sorts of possibilities.
This soup along with a chicken vegetable variety are my "go to" soups. I make sure I have lots of both canned and on the shelves so that I can use both in a variety of ways. They are nice to have when you want a quick lunch or supper. Add a salad or cornbread or maybe a slice of homemade bread and you have a really quick and easy meal. And as you know, I am all about quick, easy meals now that I am cooking for just one.
I still had vegetables and ham left after canning the ham, bean and vegetable soup. I also had some potatoes that needed to be used up. So I peeled and diced the potatoes. Each pint jar got 2/3 cup of potatoes and 1/3 cup each ham, carrots and celery. I added 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder for flavor and water to cover. I ran this through the pressure canner at 10 lbs. pressure for 75 minutes. I got 16 pints of ham, potato and vegetable soup.
I sort of made this soup up as I went along so I'm not exactly sure what to do with it. I expect it can be eaten as is or maybe thickened for a chowder type soup. No matter how it is consumed, it is still 16 more meals on the shelf. And that's the goal - fill the shelves.
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