This may be the best tomato soup recipe you’ve tasted. If you know folks who have been put off tomato soup because of the tinned stuff from the stores, they may like this.
Jars of this tomato soup are great to have on hand as a portable, healthy lunch choice. You just have to get tomatoes at a reasonable enough price to make it worth while.
This recipe is easily doubled or tripled, and in fact, you may wish to do to make it worth firing up the pressure canner.
A pressure canner is required for safety. If you don’t have a pressure canner, you can freeze jars of it, leaving appropriate headspace. (see: Headspace for freezing.)
This recipe is from Bernardin.
Tomato soup from home-canned tomato sauce
Vine-fresh tomato soup (for water bath canning)
Jar size choices: Either quarter-litre (½ US pint / 8 oz) OR half-litre (1 US pint / 16 oz)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Yield: 4 x half-litre (US pint) jars
Note on yield: Ball says the yield is 8 pint jars. Bernardin says 4, and in fact we got 4 several times when making this. In reality, yield at any given time will likely depend on how juicy the tomatoes used are or are not. Watery ones will yield more volume for instance than Roma-type tomatoes.
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs. (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs. (76 kPa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
Processing time: 20 minutes either size jar
Zesty Tomato Soup
- 3 kg tomatoes (6.5 lbs. 16 cups after being peeled, chopped, and cored)
- 600 g onion (1 ⅓ lbs. After being peeled and chopped, about 3 ½ cups)
- 450 g celery (1 lb. After being chopped, about 2 ½ cups)
- 300 g red bell pepper (2 cups. Measurements done after seeding, chopping. 2 large / 10 oz)
- 125 g carrot (4.5 oz. Peeled and sliced, about 1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic
- 7 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cloves (whole)
- ¼ teaspoon allspice (ground)
- 250 g brown sugar (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prep all the ingredients from the tomatoes down to and including the garlic. Put in a large pot.
- Make a spicebag with the cheesecloth, bay leaves and cloves. Add in.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until vegetables are soft.
- Fish out spice bag and discard it.
- Purée mixture in a blender or food processor (or food mill.) How coarse / smooth you want the texture is up to you.
- Put back in pot, add allspice, sugar, salt and pepper. Heat to a boil.
- Put into jars piping hot: jar size can be either ¼ litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz) OR ½ litre (1 US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz).
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace for either size jar.
- Wipe rims, apply lids, set in pressure canner.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
- Process time: 20 minutes either size jar.
How to pressure can, step by step.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
What is the shelf life of home canned goods?
- If you’re out of celery, you can use 1 tablespoon celery seed instead.
- If you don’t have cheese cloth, you could try using a tea genie, or strong paper towel instead.
- Yes, you must peel the tomato and carrot, for safety reasons. Most of the bacteria is on the skin.
- Want to thicken this? When you open a jar to heat, add some DIY SOS mix.
- Instead of the salt, you can use a non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub. We have found Herbamare Sodium-Free performs well in that regard.
- You can reduce the sugar, or use the same volume amount of granulated Splenda®, or use 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia. For stevia, we’d recommend Better Stevia liquid stevia. The sugar is just in this recipe as a seasoning; it’s not a safety control factor.
- Some people have said they found the recipe too sweet, though remember everyone’s taste is different. You might wish to just add half the sugar, then taste it from the pot to see what you think before adding more.
Using canned tomatoes
Instead of fresh tomatoes, you could start with 16 cups / 4 litres of canned (either store or home canned) tomatoes. Include the juice from the cans.
Spiced Tomato Soup. Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Bernardin Ltd. 2013. Page 95.
Spiced Tomato Soup. Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 106.
- Lowered the cloves from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon. You can increase it back up if you wish. Ball calls for 1 teaspoon;
- Added ¼ teaspoon allspice;
- Put the bay leaves and cloves in a spice bag for easy removal.
Per 1 jar (half-litre / 2 cups / 16 oz)
- 478 calories, 1862 mg sodium
Sugar and Salt Free Version
Per 1 jar (½ litre / 2 cups / 16 oz)
- 240 calories, 101 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2 points per 1 cup (250 ml / 8 oz); 5 points per ½ litre jar (1 US pint / 16 oz / 2 cups).
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
* Herbamare ® is a registered trademark of the A. Vogel Corporation.
can this recipe be made with tomatoes (pure) that have simply been cooked, then frozen?
If you knew that before cooking and freezing you had started with the quantity called for by the recipe, then that would be fine.
Can this be water bath canned?
No. But here is tomato soup recipe for water-bath canning. https://www.healthycanning.com/vine-fresh-tomato-soup
The Tomato’s are they seeded or just cored and peeled
I did not see anywhere that it was a option
The recipe didn’t mention seeding per se.
I didn’t see any lemon juice or citric acid added to this recipe. Most bottled tomato soups call for this. To keep acid levels balanced. Is there a reason why it isn’t added? I like the ingredients of your recipe and will have lots of tomatoes ready soon, to do something with. Thanks foe sharing.
The safety control factor here is the pressure canning.
I am not sure whether this has been changed since this recipe was written but my understanding (from USDA) is that all tomatoes, regardless of pressure canning or water bath, need added acid.
I’m interested in this recipe as the one I used last year was way too acidic tasting upon opening, but I don’t want to make this if it isn’t safe anymore.
If you could advise on this I would appreciate it.
Hi Jaime, we’ve discussed that exact topic here: https://www.healthycanning.com/why-do-some-tomato-products-need-acidification-but-not-others/
Lorrie L Chismark
I canned 30 pints of soup following this recipe exactly as given in 2017. It’s what I would call an old-fashioned tomato soup and I was certain my husband wouldn’t care for it. He loved it and asked me to use the last few bushels of our tomatoes from 2019 to can more. I plant and preserve using a three year rotation so I hope to do 40 to 50 pints this year. This is now a “go-to” recipe for me and that’s high praise indeed!
The recipe states 125 mg carrot (which is 1/8th of a gram). That cannot be right. I suspect this is a typing error and you meant to write 125 g carrot.
Thank you for the catch. It was a typo as you say, and as you say, one giving an amount of carrot absolutely unmeasurable in a home kitchen. Corrected now.
can these soups be made without the onion and garlic?
Absolutely. The onion and garlic is just there for flavouring.
I have made this several times and LOVE it! Can passata be substituted for the tomatoes in this recipe? If so, how much should I use?
Teresa, 1 1/2 to 2 litres / quarts passata would be equivalent to what the peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes will simmer down to in the first part of making the soup.
Sarah Reid, CNP (@jo_jo_ba)
I found this oppressively sweet – can I reduce / eliminate the sweetener and still be safe?
Absolutely. The sugar there is just a seasoning, it plays no role in safety. To read more about what role sugar does and doesn’t play in home canning, see here: https://www.healthycanning.com/sugars-role-in-home-canning/
Made it. It is awesome! Even my teen-agers are eating it and commenting on how great it is. I ran my food through my food processor followed by food-mill…I wanted a smooth soup. Perfect. I did use Herbamare (not sodium-free) otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe. Twenty pints made so far. I will be making more. Three were eaten in the first week.
Passing it through a food mill is a great idea, especially for teenagers! Addresses any possible “texture” objections they might have! Did it take a long time to pass through the food mill?
The food mill did take some time but that is in part because I was running a three gallon batch through. It helped that I had already ran it through my food processor. It was a family event so I enjoyed the time in the kitchen with others as well as the work-out (no saggy arms for me!) I would do it again. In fact, I plan to. Doing another three gallon batch this coming week-end. That’s 20 pint jars for the shelf (great for work-week lunches for those with microwave access) plus a nice potful with grilled cheese sandwiches for supper.