Update: House-Wife's Log, star date May 8, 2012
A rainy, damp spring day has me thinking that it's time to get some soup back onto the shelves. Last week I rummaged around in the freezer and found a huge bag of meaty venison bones that I had saved from my husband's last conquest.
I made vension stock, cut up the meat and today I opened a three pound bag of frozen mixed veggies and cut up 4 pounds of potatoes. I even skipped the step of cooking the onion and celery first.
Homecanned soup is one of the MOST economical things I do for our house. Last time I priced out soup, anything even close to what I make is upwards to $3.00+ a can.
My soup, in total, cost me about $8.00 in materials for 7 jars of soup (that's four cups of soup per jar), and about an hour total of my time.
Enjoy your rainy day!
It's been too long since I've filled the pantry shelves with my husband's favorite fast food: homemade soup. When Trey and I woke up this morning, the sky was overcast and air was cool. A perfect early autumn morning.
Now that the soup is made and the canning process completed, the sun has come out.
I realize that by all rights, this recipe should be on the kitchen pages, but this is one of those crossover entries - when day-to-day IS about food.
Even if you simply make this soup for dinner, you can use this nifty Conversion Calculator to break it down into the amount you need.
This recipe originates from a cookbook that Rebekah (my Amish girlfriend) gave to me as a gift. You'll find this cookbook in most Amish kitchens in our area. 'Centre County, Amish Cooking' is its name. If you want a copy for yourself, you can contact the bookseller at:
Brookside Bookstore & Bindery, Millersburg, PA 717.692.4759
I checked on Amazon - this book is available, but at an unreasonably inflated price. It retails around here for about $11.00, so keep that in mind if you find it for $20.00 plus shipping.
The trick with using canning recipes in Amish cookbooks is that you need to read between the lines. The cooks that submit recipes make many assumptions. I learned this the hard way, by burning things and not preparing food correctly.
Today I am using the recipe for vegetable soup. The recipe indicates that it will make 80 quarts of soup. I really don't want 80 quarts. So here is my version, cut down to a more manageable 12 quarts.
(makes 12 quarts)
3 quarts water or beef broth (omit bullion)
1 quart homemade V8 juice*
1/4 cup beef broth bullion*
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
Combine these ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to a slow simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2 lbs ground beef (or venison), browned
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
6 cups diced, skinned, potatoes
1/2 lb beans (kidney, navy etc), soaked overnight, then boiled for 30 minutes and drained
2 lbs mixed vegetables (I used a store-bought bag of vegetables, otherwise, use what you have on hand to equal this amount.)
2 cans (14 oz) diced tomatoes (or equal amount of skinned, seeded fresh tomatoes)
Cook the onions and celery in olive oil until just soft. Mix the meat and the onions/celery, then add the remaining ingredients. In a large pot or mixing bowl, gently blend the meat and vegetables.
You are NOT going to cook the soup before you can it. If you do, it will be overcooked and mushy.
In properly prepared (sanitized) quart jars, divide the meat/veggie mixture into each jar, about two cups per jar. If you have more left over, divide it as evenly as you can. A canning funnel will make this job fast and neat.
Pour your hot broth into each jar, to about 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rim then adjust your lids and bands. Process in a pressure canner at 10lbs pressure for 90 minutes.
If you run out of broth, just make another 1/2 batch. You will want to taste the broth and make any personal adjustments to reflect your family's tastes. If Trey weren't going to be eating this, I would make it spicier, but for now, we keep it simple for his toddler palate.
*If you use straight tomato juice instead of V8 juice, taste the broth, you'll probably need more salt and spices.
*A note about beef broth. If I had nothing else to do (who snickered?), I would make my beef broth, keep it in the freezer and use it in my homemade soups. But between you and me, I just don't have the time. The other factor in my decision is that my husband prefers the taste of the soup with the bullion. And since my main goal is to get good food into him, I respect his request. Yes, it's not the most healthy option, but there are plenty of organic, low-sodium, minimal ingredient options out there. Just sayin'...
And that's what was happening this morning at our house!