I never used to like tomato soup. In fact, I would have chicken noodle over tomato every time. Then I met my husband who loved tomato soup and wanted to have it quite often. I couldn’t justify making two types of soup for two people for one meal. It seemed so ridiculous. So I set out to find a tomato soup that I could actually enjoy. I needed something with a natural flavor and a kick. Campbell’s tomato soup just doesn’t have that natural acidic kick to it. But I also needed something I could have ready on the shelf for quick meals and not a soup I had to cook from scratch each time. Then I stumbled upon this recipe. Vine-fresh tomato soup.
I had an extremely hard time finding a recipe that I considered safe to can. First things first, do not trust any recipe that calls for flour or corn starch in it. This is no longer considered safe for canning. I have an Amish tomato soup recipe that calls for flour and I choose not to use it for that reason. So many tomato soup recipes also call for celery. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t keep that on hand. So, all of those recipes get tossed to the wayside when I have tomatoes galore. I needed a recipe that was easy, straight forward, and called for items I either have in my garden or regularly in my kitchen. This recipe fit the bill. And I found it in the Ball Blue Book!
This recipe calls for 12-14 pounds of tomatoes, a bell pepper, an onion, garlic, oil, tomato paste, sugar, salt, ground pepper, and citric acid (for safety). Easy stuff friends, especially since I grew bell peppers in my garden this year and plan to in the future.
I start by first chopping up the onion and pepper and get them sautéing in the stock point with the oil on medium-low heat. While this is sautéing, I rinse, core and quarter the tomatoes which I place in two one-gallon pitchers. When the onions start to turn clear, I add the tomatoes and bring them to a boil. From there, you simmer the mixture until the tomatoes are broken down and the mixture begins to thicken, about 40 minutes. Run it through a food mill, add some flavoring ingredients, simmer for 15 minutes and go ahead and can! Really, it’s that easy.
Simple but delicious…
I was skeptical at first. Could this really be good? The first time I took a sip from the left over that didn’t make it in a jar, I’m pretty sure my eyes went wide. It was SO delicious! And that’s from someone who really doesn’t like tomato soup! The flavor is right on point. The first time we tried this soup, I still thought it was extremely good. I just simmered in on the stove for a few minutes and we enjoyed it with some grilled cheese. My husband said this might have had a tick of a marinara texture though so the next time I decided to add in a dollop of milk and that seems to have corrected that! So if you like a creamier tomato soup, add some milk!
I guess all this time I really did like tomato soup, I just needed the real, homemade kind. If you normally are not a huge fan of tomato soup but in general like tomatoes, I highly suggest you give this a try. You might just be surprised and find yourself craving a bowl of this goodness later this winter!
Vine-Fresh Tomato Soup
A tomato soup to really change your mind for the better about tomato soup. The flavor will suprise your taste buds and make you question how you ever even compromised for store bought. This recipe is safe for canning and is straight from the Ball Blue Book, 37th Edition on page 35.
- 12 to 14 lbs tomatoes
- 1 medium bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 TBS vegetable oil
- 1/4 C tomato paste
- 1 TBS sugar
- 1 TBS salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Citric Acid or bottled lemon juice
- Wash/Rinse the tomatoes and bell pepper.
- Chop the onion and bell pepper. Mince garlic. Add oil, onion, and garlic to a large stock pot and sauté on med-low heat. If using minced garlic from a jar, add after onions are translucent and saute for 1 minute.
- While onions and garlic are sautéing, wash/rinse your tomatoes. Core and quarter them and set aside.
- Once onions have become translucent, add the tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, and tomato paste to the stock pot. Stir.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. This may take between 30 to 40 minutes. Once to a boil, simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes. The tomatoes should be broken down and the mixture will thicken a bit.
- Run the tomato mixture through a food mill or strainer to remove the peels and seeds.
- Return the mixture to the stock pot and add sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- If you are using quart jars, add 1/2 tsp of citric acid or 2 TBS of bottled lemon juice to each sanitized jar. Ladle soup into canning jars and wipe the rims clean to make sure they're ready for the lids. Add clean canning lids and rings.
- Process quart jars in a water bath for 40 minutes.
- This recipe is meant for canning. To serve, I heat a jar of the soup on medium heat until boiling. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, let it cool slightly, and serve! If you like a creamier tomato soup, add a dollop of milk before simmering. This goes great with a traditional grilled cheese!
- I choose to pressure can my jars even though it is not necessary due to the acidity of the tomatoes along with the added citric acid. Based on the booklet that came with my pressure canner, both tomato sauce and tomato juice are processed in a pressure canner for 15 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. A second tomato soup recipe in the same Ball Blue Book with a higher vegetable to tomato ratio calls for pressure canning at 10 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes. I personally pressure can my soup at 15 pounds of pressure due to our altitude and for 20 minutes.
- While this recipe should be safe as it has been tested and listed by the Ball Blue Book company, as with any canning recipe, I am not liable for any problem occurences pertaining to this recipe. If you choose to can or preserve, you do so at your own risk.
Harrold, Judy, editor. Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. 37th ed., Hearthmark, LLC, 2017.