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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pressure Canning Vegetable Beef Soup

I didn't get as many recipes done that I had planned for this weekend but I did get time this afternoon to put together the requested recipe for Diana of Vegetable Beef Soup. My husband caught a nasty cold yesterday and this was the perfect meal for him to "steam out" and feel better.

The preparation was easy and this is the perfect recipe to use your jars of already prepared  ingredients from your canning pantry. I used two pints of my beef stock and two pints of my diced tomatoes for this recipe. I also want to encourage you to purchase an inexpensive cut of meat that doesn't have a lot of fat. The round steak was on sale and since it will cook in the canner for 75 minutes you can be assured that it will be fork tender when you finally open the jar.

We had this soup for dinner with homemade bread and it was delicious. The vegetables were tender, the potatoes were creamy, the meat was fork tender, and the addition of Renee's Italian blend,  which had fennel in it, gave a few bites a unexpected tasty surprise. This recipe is a hearty soup with all of the savory tomato flavor and warmth for the cold winter nights. Enjoy 

Vegetable Beef Soup:

1 1/2 pounds stew beef, cubed ( I used an inexpensive round steak)
4 cups beef broth (I used two pints of my home made beef stock)
1 cup onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup celery, sliced (I omitted)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
28 ounces canned tomatoes (I used two pints of my home canned tomatoes)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning mix (Renee’s blend) or
        1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
        1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
        1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
1 cup frozen peas, optional

Preparation: Prepare 6 - 7 pint jars, lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till its time for processing. Make sure to fill your pressure canner up to the “fill” line and get the water to a simmer.

Cooking: 
In a stainless steel or enameled dutch oven brown meat quickly using a tiny bit of olive oil just so the meat won’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add to the pot the rest of the ingredients and cook on medium hight for 10 minutes only just to combine the broth and spices! Turn off the heat. Ladle. 

Filling the jars: On a dishtowel place your hot jars in a semi circle leaving room for your pot that has your recipe.  Using your slotted spoon ladle the meat and veggies into the jar filling only half way then add the soup liquid into the jars leaving 1” headspace. Start from the top of the semi circle and work your way to the end. Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace if necessary. Remove your recipe and taking a clean papertowel and wipe the rims of the jars with white vinegar removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just "finger tight".


Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the pressure canner.  Lock the lid and turn up the heat bring the canner to a boil. Vent steam for 10 minutes, then close the vent by adding the weighted gauge or pressure regulator (for dial gauge canner).  Process pints for 75 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure (11 lbs for dial gauge canner) and quarts at 90 minutes.  When complete turn off the heat and let pressure return to zero naturally. Wait two minutes longer and open vent. Remove canner lid. Wait 10 minutes then remove jars and place on dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.

Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal. Remove rings for storage.


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