Home canned soups must be pressure canned.
There are two categories of recipes for home-canned soups.
There’s the “free-wheelin'” recipe guidelines from the USDA, which give a creative cook a set of safe guidelines inside which to create a limitless range of wonderful soups of varied flavours. We call this the “your choice” canned soup guidelines.”
And there are fixed soup recipes, which you need to pretty much follow to the letter.
Reputable sources for home canned soup recipes
Reputable sources for home canned soup recipes are:
- University Extension Services
For the most part, university extensions will just repeat the USDA’s “your choice” soup guidelines.
There are no other reputable sources that we are aware of for safe, lab-tested soup recipes.
Fixed soup recipes
The USDA’s “your choice” guidelines require you to adhere to some rules. The USDA’s guidelines say, for instance, not to can thick, puréed soups, because density is normally a problem in ensuring the safety of home-canned soups.
Some soup recipes, though, from Bernardin and Ball break both the puréed and thick guidelines. For instance, they give a recipe for a split pea soup that turns out thick and dense, and a recipe for a puréed carrot soup.
That’s okay though: those particular recipes were lab-tested with jars that had been inoculated with bacteria and then heated with heat sensors in the jars to ensure all the bacteria were killed.
So, while puréeing is generally a no-no, if Ball or Bernardin say a soup should be puréed, then it’s safe to do so and you should. Again, the difference is, they had lab equipment to test.
Ball gives a few soup recipes in its Blue Book (such as its Beef Stew), and Bernardin gives a few soup recipes in its Bernardin guide. There’s not much advantage soup-wise to looking to the Ball / Bernardin Complete book, as that just repeats a subset of the same soup recipes in those two books.
The University of Georgia has released a recipe found nowhere else, “Spicy Tomato Vegetable Soup.”
Here’s a link to the fixed soup recipes for canning we have listed so far.
Home-canned soups for water bathing
Most soup recipes are for pressure canning. Here is a list of soup recipes from reputable sources that can be water-bathed.
What to avoid in home canned soups
Penn State says, “Creamed soups are not suitable for home canning because their ingredients interfere with the proper transfer of heat during the processing step.”  Making Soup Safely. Blog Entry. Penn State Extension. 22 October 2012. Accessed March 2015. Penn State should have added this proviso: unless it’s a lab-tested recipe from a reputable source.
Penn State also says, “Avoid canning pumpkin, winter squash, broccoli, or cauliflower soup. These pack together and contain ingredients that interfere with safe processing. There are no scientifically research tested recipes for these soups.”  Ibid.
Avoid canning tomato soup in a thickened or creamed state. Feel free to do what you will to it once you open the jar, though! Zap in microwave, and stir in a few dollops of thick, non-fat Greek yoghurt. Or stir in a bit of DIY SOS Mix. Delicious!
|↑1||Making Soup Safely. Blog Entry. Penn State Extension. 22 October 2012. Accessed March 2015.|
I would love to pressure can some puréed soup recipes as I can not eat fruits and vegetables without pureeing or juicing them. I’m getting mixed information on this, though. Is it safe to pressure can puréed soups? If so, if I have both high and low acid ingredients, what processing time and weight do I use (like sweet potatoes, apples, & leeks puréed)
(1) Is it safe to pressure can puréed soups? As in all things, it is safe if you are using a research-tested recipe. Here for instance are recipes for pea soup https://www.healthycanning.com/home-canned-pea-soup and carrot soup https://www.healthycanning.com/carrot-and-fennel-soup
Otherwise, can the separate ingredients such as sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, beans, etc., separately in maybe pint jars, and then open each jar, add to a pot and puree with an immersion blender, and you’ll have a nearly-instant pureed soup base to build on.
I have some simple soup recipes that I really like can I use these to pressure canning or do I have to use only special recipes for canning
You want to use research-tested recipes only for canning to ensure that the product will be safe when placed in a sealed environment inside jars. For your other soups, freeze them.
I am wondering if there are guidelines for pressure canning the new 1.9litre jars for soup. Larger families make more senses two keep on larger batches of possible ! Please advise !
The 2 US quart / 1.9 litre jars are only meant for juices and dry storage. See here: https://www.healthycanning.com/bernardin-jars/#Bernardin_2_US_quart_jar_wide_mouth
Is it safe to can lentil soup? I don’t see a recipe for it.
There is no lab-tested recipe for canning lentil soup. Freeze it.
Hi there. I would like to pressure can Dhal. What are your recommendations. I am using half pint jars and would also like to know how long I must pressure can for? Am at sea level
There are just no tested safe recipes for pressure canning Dhal at this time. You’ll have to freeze it, sorry.
Hi, I make a french onion soup using beef broth, red wine and of course onions. Can something like that be pressure canned?
We only work with recipes that have been lab-tested for safety. Freeze it.
I would like to can ham and bean soup. I have some cubed ham left from the ham we smoked for Christmas in the freezer. Can I add the ham to the bean soup when I can it?
There is a tested recipe for Bean and Ham soup here from Bernardin. Use that.
Can u can pre cooked soups and stews in pressure canning pot?
Having read these guidelines I am not confident in doing what my farmer neighbor has stated. Basically can everything for 1 hr and it is possible.
My goal is to make my own soups, jelly etcto reduce store bought soup and stews concerns of nutrition value after canning pre fully cooked foods.
Am I correct to use canning as a means to preserve basics needed for recipes instead of preparing “quickies” foods.
Obviously I thought if it is canned in Store why canning at home should be possible?! Guess wrong
I want to can some homemade Turkey Noodle soup but read where you can’t pressure cook with pasta, why
I have lost my butternut squash and white bean soup recipe that I use to can for the last few years if someone has that recipe also using in it rosemary, I sure would be great full for . Thank you kat
I want to can my zucchini soup, already pureed. It has chicken stock, fresh basil, Greek yogurt, and coconut milk. No pressure canner, just boiling water. Is it safe like the pureed soups mentioned?
According to the research, that would absolutely be unsafe to home can via water bath because it is low-acid and it would need the high heat of a pressure canner, BUT they would say that a pressure canner either wouldn’t be safe for it because it’s pureed (density issues that were untested and zucchini is particularly mentioned in the literature for that) PLUS it contains dairy, so that is a double whammy against it. They would tell you to freeze that.
I have a soup recipe that has squash and zucchini. Could I can the squash and zucchini in chunks or wedges and then when I open it add the other ingredients and puree?
You can do that for the winter squash, for sure, following the directions for pressure canning winter squash. However, attempting to can zucchini or any *summer squash* is recommended against. https://www.healthycanning.com/canning-summer-squash