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How to Can Vegetable Soup


Whether it’s putting away summer produce or a winter canning project to make your own convenience food, learning how to can vegetable soup is a skill every homestead mom needs. 

Image shows jars of vegetable soup

But I don’t mean to exclude anybody of course. Canning isn’t exclusive to homestead moms, and you can be a hobby canner no regardless of lifestyle choices. 

With that said, my story is one of homestead life. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog growing up in a small Amish community in middle Tennessee. 

One of my favorite memories from that time was the summer when I was fourteen. We combined our gardening efforts with a neighbor’s family. I learned so much that year about gardening, cooking, and canning. 

We canned so much produce that year, including a boatload of canned dill pickles, as well as pickled beets (for the first time for me!), and so much more. We even went blackberry picking together – even though blackberries were wild and not something we grew together – and make lots of blackberry jam.

But one of the best things we did together was can about 200 quarts of vegetable soup. 

Image shows a couple of bowls of vegetable soup in front of several jars of soup

We did everything in a single day, starting early with picking the corn, then purple hull peas, and taking those up to the house for some of the others to start husking/shelling while we continued to pick produce – tomatoes, peas, okra, carrots, potatoes, green beans, lima beans, and more.

We used a huge variety of produce in that batch, and I remember objecting to the okra, but it turned out to be surprisingly good, and now I like to add a little okra to my own vegetable soup whenever I make it. 

That soup was so good! 

For a long time, I thought it might be just my bias from having worked so hard to make it – after all, it was seasoned only with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning blend, but years later, I now realize that pressure canning soup works like nothing else to permeate flavors throughout. 

Plus of course, the freshest produce possible didn’t hurt anything. 

But I’m hear to tell you that using frozen produce from the store can result in soup that is just as satisfactory – I did that just last week! 

Because while I may not live in an Amish community anymore, I still have those values ingrained I suppose. 

Images shows several bowls of vegetable soup photographed from above

Why Make Home-Canned Soup

A few weeks ago, when I was frustrated with how busy Sunday mornings were, trying to get everybody out the door to church on time and then coming home hungry and not having anything prepared to put on the table, I decided to make my own convenience food and can some vegetable soup. 

Obviously, I could have planned ahead the night before church and put something in the slow cooker or grabbed a freezer meal or any other thing, but as I said, I guess I still have some of that Amishness left in me. And it’s nice to have food in storage that doesn’t depend on electricity to stay good. 

So yes, I spent a day making vegetable soup, and yes, I opened some jars of home-canned diced tomatoes to do it, but now I have jars and jars on my shelf so we can come home after church, heat up some delicious homemade soup, and have a hot dinner within minutes of walking in the door. 

The big upside of canning your own vegetable soup is that you know exactly what you’re getting. Not only do you have the convenience of opening up a jar and having dinner on the table instantly that you get from buying canned soup, but you get only the flavors and veggie types that you want – not an unknown recipe that may or may not have miscellaneous preservatives or seasonings that you care to feed your family. 

How to can vegetable soup

Canning soup is pretty easy – it’s just a big batch of soup in a pressure canner – but there are a few things to know before you start:

  • Cleanliness is next to godliness. No, that’s not in the bible, but it’s no less true when it comes to canning. Start with less bacteria, and you have less bacteria to worry about killing in the canning process. This also goes for keeping your jar lids and rims free from any sort of debris that might keep your jars from sealing. 
  • Jars should be arranged in a canner so that they do not touch. They can be very close, but they shouldn’t touch. This greatly reduces the chances of jars breaking during the canning process. 
  • Use your vegetable preference. I have measurements in the recipe card below, but think of them as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. If you don’t want to use a particular vegetable, replace it with something else. 
  • Use your kitchen tools. If you’ll be doing a lot of chopping, get your food processor out. This will cut down your time significantly – even if you only use it to chop the onions. 
  • To make vegetarian vegetable soup, use vegetable stock instead of beef broth, and replace each pound of ground beef with about 3 cups of additional vegetables. This is to replace the volume so that your recipe still comes out to 7 quarts even. 
  • Canning vegetable soup does require a pressure canner. Technically you could water bath can – goodness knows plenty of Amish folks still water bath can everything – but unlike when we talked about how to can applesauce, vegetable soup is a lower acid recipe similar to home canned chili beans, and harbors more potentially harmful bacteria. The higher temperature of the pressure canner makes it much safer to consume. 
  • Most stores like Walmart carry general canning supplies like jars and lids, but you may need to order a pressure canner if you don’t already have one. Pressure canners can be pricey, but I have this inexpensive one, and it works very well. (long term, a higher-end model is still a great investment though! 

How to Can Vegetable Soup

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4.7 from 7 reviews

Making your own canned soup is a great idea for a quick and easy meal. 

  • Author: Elise


  • 8 cups diced tomatoes – or pureed if you family doesn’t care for tomato chunks
  • 8 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup lima beans
  • 3 cups chopped green beans
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 6 cups beef broth, vegetable  broth, or water
  • 2 cups onions
  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • pepper


  1. Brown ground beef with onions
  2. Drain and pour into a large (at least 8 quart) pot
  3. Add remaining vegetables, beef broth, and Italian seasoning
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Heat over medium heat and simmer until vegetables are just tender

To Can:

  1. Ladle hot soup into hot jars leaving 1 inch of headspace
  2. Wipe rim and fit with flats and lids, screwing down firmly
  3. Place jars in prepared, hot canner
  4. Lock canner lid and heat until steam begins to escape
  5. Vent steam for 10 minutes, then close vent
  6. Continue heating to 10lbs of pressure
  7. Process quart jars for 85 minutes, and pint jars for 55 minutes (according to Ball canning standards)
  8. Turn off heat and let pressure return to zero naturally before opening vent and removing jars
  9. That’s it! 

Enjoy your home-canned vegetable soup.

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  1. This sounds a lot like what my grandmother used to make. She didn’t use meat in hers, and she put a pod of green hot pepper in hers. I think it was cayenne. She froze hers. Oh man, it was the best. She called it soup mix, but you didn’t need anything else in it.

  2. I am excited to try canning this vegetable beef soup! I didn’t know if it was safe to can soup with beef or hamburger in it but after reading your blog, I see that it is. I agree, how wonderful to have ready to eat meals just sitting on your pantry shelf! So I’m assuming it’s okay to can spaghetti sauce with hamburger or sausage in it??? And do you have a good chili recipe to can? Thanks so very much for all of this great information!!!

      1. For all you that are new to canning, I suggest buying yourself a copy of the Ball Blue Book. The go to for all canning. I still have mine from my teens. I suggest starting with jams, pickling, and water-bath primarily then work to pressure canning. This is where meats and low acid product can be preserved. Anything, like spaghetti sauce with meat and beef vegetable soup, must be pressure canned; however, very do-able. A great source for all info on canning and food preservation contact the Purdue Extension. I was lucky to have been in 4-H as a kid and learned this; therefore, highly recommend this source. Good luck and enjoy!

        1. If you use the Pressure sealer from Food Saver, Is that good Enough or should I buy a pressure cooker instead?

    1. There are videos on you tube explaining how to can pasta sauce with meatballs, and how to can just about anything you can imagine! You can, also, Google blue book canning. I’ve found very helpful information.

  3. You talk about adding okra but didn’t list it in the recipe. How much and what preparation you add? (sliced? Whole? Diced, etc?) I’ve read in other places that a small amount of okra can help thicken soup (since starch thickeners aren’t allowed in pressure canning) and I’m wondering if I can add a couple slices of overgrown okra for thickening purposes but pull out before eating?

    1. You can add as much or as little as you like, I’d just keep the total number of cups of vegetables the same so you have a good solid/liquid ratio. I slice mine.

    1. It is t acidic enough to safely can in a water bath. It HAS to be pressure canned for safety … there are “rebel canners” out there that may say different but I’m not going to put my families safety on the line if the seal fails or bacteria is introduced due to inadequate processing time. 🙂 Saying “I ain’t killed anyone yet” always makes me wonder if that’s really their measure of how they decide to can to safety guidelines.

  4. I didnt see this before I canned my soup. I only did it for 20mins. It doesnt have meat or potatoes in it. The cans sealed. Should I put them back in and process for additional hour?

  5. I recommend you update this post with better information about canning safety. The food safety concern with canning is not bacteria–they are killed by simple boiling. The concern is botulism. Botulism is potentially life-threatening and thrives in an anaerobic environment–as inside a sealed canning jar. The boiling temps of water bath canning will not destroy botulism. One way to destroy botulism in canned goods is through acidity (follow a tested recipe from a trusted source). Water bath boiling is safe for acidic foods. The second way to destroy botulism is through pressure canning–because the pressured head is much hotter than boiling. Again, follow a tested recipe from a trusted source with regard to how high the pressure needs to be and for how long.

    1. Botulism is caused by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. The recipe above has the instructions for pressure cooking not hot water bath canning. Yes the article did talk about water bath canning but if you read the entire article you will note she states “Canning vegetable soup does require a pressure canner. Technically you could water bath can – goodness knows plenty of Amish folks still water bath can everything – but unlike when we talked about how to can applesauce, vegetable soup is a lower acid recipe similar to home canned chili beans, and harbors more potentially harmful bacteria. The higher temperature of the pressure canner makes it much safer to consume.

  6. Hello. I’ve been making beef and veggie soup for quite sometime and freezing in 1 qt. containers. I make my own beef stock, your veggie list minus tomatoes, onion and potatoes and I pressure cook chuck roast in an electric Instapot. The final result comes together on the stove in a soup pot. My goal is to keep it lean and under 500 calories per 1 qt. serving. The batch makes 6, 1 qt servings. Each batch has only 1 lb of beef.
    I have the real deal pressure cooking coming shortly. My question is I see you only brown the beef. Does that mean the beef cooks during the pressure cooking process?

  7. I canned some vegetable soup last year, used all the ingredients listed here. Mine turned out really sweet and I was told I’d you can soup with carrots and corn it will be really sweet. What can I do to prevent this. I wanted a meal in a jar. Was so sad when this happened.

  8. I like making mine with chicken broth as a base, would there be a difference using this instead of beef broth?

  9. Don’t have a pressure cooker. I am using canner. How long do I cook them? I have done this before but forgot how long let them cook

  10. Help I made home made vegetable soup with fully cooked deer meat .My problem is I don’t have pressure canner to use my canners needs new seals.
    I was given those canners. How can I cann my soup? Please Help.Can I put them in my jars and water bath them? Help Please

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