Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Canning Cookbook- Getting A Head Start On Soup Season

The calendar still says summer but we all know it will be autumn and then, yay! winter shortly thereafter, and that means SOUP SEASON! Chili, lentil soup, hearty vegetable beef, and chicken noodle when you're under the weather, cooler weather definitely calls for a steamy warm bowl of soup.

Here in Iowa it is Corn Country. Sweet corn is plentiful at the end of summer and when you've had your fill of corn on the cob it's time to start looking for ways to use it. Soup fits the bill perfectly. Corn chowder is pretty popular and this version adds hearty potato, chunks of chicken and a hint of heat with peppers to amp up the flavor and fill your belly with homemade goodness. Chowders are creamy soups, but we don't can dairy products at home, so swirl in some heavy cream when you're heating this up and enjoy with a wedge of cornbread or a nice hunk of crusty bread.

To make Iowa Corn and Chicken Chowder, you will need-
  • 8 cups corn
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes (red skinned potatoes are best)
  • 2 cups diced green chilies *See Note
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 12 slices bacon, diced and cooked
  • chicken broth or stock, heated to boiling
Using clean, hot pint jars, equally divide all the ingredients among the jars. Fill jars to 1 inch head space with heated chicken broth. Clean rim of jars completely, fix lids and rings, place in pressure canner. 

Following your canner's directions, process for 75 minutes for pints, at the correct weight for your altitude.

When you get ready to serve, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream to each pint.

*Note- Now, let's talk about those chilies. This is where you make this soup as spicy or as mild as you like it. I will be using jalapenos or serranos for my soup because that's what's in my garden. I'll mix my hot peppers with mild bell peppers to equal 2 cups. You can also add a shake or so of dried cayenne pepper if you like, or a drop or two of hot sauce before canning or after reheating later.

This soup is a wonderful way to use up leftover roast chicken or turkey. You can use fresh corn cut off the cob or frozen whole kernel corn (thaw first!!) to make it easy. I prefer red skinned potatoes over russets because of their waxy texture- they don't fall apart as much as russets and work better in processing. Also, I prefer NOT to peel them, which some people consider a no no in canning, but I scrub them very very thoroughly- it adds the necessary heartiness to the soup. One final hint- wide mouth jars are great for canning soups because you don't have to struggle to get the food out. 

I think a nice fat wedge of cornbread would be perfect with this soup, with a crispy tossed salad and a wedge of warm pie for dessert- we're talking total comfort food here. Try it!!

And speaking of soup, it's time to start thinking about vegetable soup, chili, chicken soup (add the noodles before serving) and all the other ones we love so much on a cold, blustery day. What are some of your favorites?

NOTE: This recipe has not been tested by the NCHFP. If you are not comfortable canning untested recipes, please do not use this one. For home canning information, visit the NCHFP website.

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