I enjoy soup no matter what the current season happens to be; however, there’s something extra special about a hearty bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day! Even though I have a pressure canner, I typically freeze my soups and stews since they tend to be recipes I’ve created and are not suitable for canning. With my freezers still full from last year’s homegrown organic vegetables, I’ve decided it’s time I began canning soup and reserving my precious freezer space for other goodies!
Last December, I began flipping through the pages of my canning books deciding on what soups I would put up. The first one I am going to share with you is split pea. The original recipe called for ham, which I immediately omitted; it also listed allspice, which complements the flavor of ham. I omitted that one too.
Dried herbs are considered a “freebie” when canning; they are interchangeable and you can add as much or as little as you would like. Remember that this rule only applies to dried herbs and spices. Some recipes can be safely doubled without challenging the integrity of the finished product, this is one of them.
Split Pea Soup
2 lbs dried split peas, yellow or green (2 cups dried split peas weighs 1 lb, so I used 4 cups for this recipe)
4 quarts of water
2 cups chopped onion
3 cups sliced carrots
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp granulated garlic
2 tsp celery seed
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp pepper
Combine (rinsed) dried peas and water; bring to a boil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot. Skim off any foam that develops. Reduce heat; simmer covered for about one hour or until peas are soft. If a smooth soup is desired, press mixture through a food mill. I skipped the food mill since processing will generally result in a semi-smooth consistency. Return mixture to the sauce pot. Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, about 30 minutes. If mixture is too thick add boiling water.
Ladle hot soup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight. Process in a weighted gauge steam-pressure canner: pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes, at 10 pounds of pressure. For a dial gauge steam-pressure canner: process pints for 60 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes, at 11 pounds of pressure at sea level. If you have a mixture of jar sizes, process at quart time. Turn off the heat. Once the pressure has dropped to zero, open the lid, remove the jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.
Because I doubled the recipe it yielded 4 quarts (or 10 pints). Should you want to make a single batch (just half all the listed ingredients), it will result in 5 pints or 2 quarts.
This recipe can be frozen; however, to ensure shelf-stability it MUST be processed in a steam-pressure canner.
Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration.