One of life’s greatest pleasures for me is to take something from seed, to growth to harvest and then preserve it for the winter. God truly created so many things for our pleasures and none brings more pleasure to the family that He has blessed me with as much as tomatoes. It is truly a versatile fruit that is loaded in goodness and offers so many ways to use it in healthy recipes.
Over the past few years I have taken time with various recipes and slowly changed a bit of this or that to make it my own. This year the one that has reached the overwhelming approval from my family and a neighbour is Jackie’s Tomato Soup. As a Wife, Mom and Grammy I love putting healthy soup in front of my family for their enjoyment knowing that they are gaining health benefits from my labour.
Did you know that Tomatoes offers these health benefits?
- Tomatoes boast with the anti-oxidant Lycopene. Lycopene is not made in our bodies naturally so the tomato is a great source of this cancer fighting element. It is said that Lycopene at high levels can help our bodies get rid of free radicals.
- Tomatoes are a wonderful source of Vitamin C .
- Vitamin A and Potassium .
- Who would have guess that yes tomatoes even have Iron.
- There are many more benefits, take a few minutes online and it won’t take long to be convinced how good they are for us.
These tomatoes were loved and nutured in my greenhouse, often referred to by me as my “place of quiet refuge”.
Jackie’s Tomato Soup (for canning)
Yields: Approx. 14 pints or 28 - ½ pints. (approximately 1 serving per ½ pint once diluted)
Important Notes: DO NOT DOUBLE THIS RECIPE
This is a concentrate to be diluted with either milk or water at time of preparation. It is equal portions of tomato soup to milk or water.
I believe in using the whole tomato. In doing this it requires more time to prepare. Some recipes you may find will want you to remove the skin and seeds. I believe that the goodness is in the skin as well as the seeds of the tomato. This recipe requires patience, a good blender, a hand blender, two large stock pots, mason jars and a pressure cooker. I love using the tomatoes, onions, green pepper, dried parsley and dried basil all from my garden.
When choosing the tomato sauce and tomato paste, be sure to read the ingredients. I prefer to use organic tomato sauce and paste that doesn’t have sugar added. Do not buy the kind that has other spices added other than low salt.
14lbs of Tomatoes… cored and quartered
2 medium onions
2 large green pepper
1 ½ cup of parsley
1 tsp of ground cloves
1 ½ tsp of basil
2 1/2 tbsp of salt
1 - 680ml can of tomato sauce
1 - 369 ml can of tomato paste
To Add Before Simmering
8 Bay Leafs
2/3 cup butter
1 ½ cup of flour
4 tbsp. of salt
1) I like to prepare my jars in the dishwasher with a sanitizing cycle. It cleans them well and keeps them hot. The key to a good “seal” on the jars is to keep all things hot. Be cautious of handling the hot items. I have had burns and it is no fun.
2) Place your screw tops upside down and put the sealing lid inside, then place in a pan of boiling water as shown in the picture. This allows for easy retrieval with tongs and you don’t need one of the magnetic lid retrievers. Once the water boils turn the heat to low.
3) Now everything is ready to get started.
4) Wash and core tomatoes. Cut into quarters and place in a blender. Very important! Do NOT dilute with water. If your blender doesn’t like to puree very well then chop your tomatoes smaller, or take a few tomatoes and crush them with a pastry cutter in a bowl to produce more liquid during the initial blending time. Blend them well and pour into a very large stock pot. The Pot will need lots of room to eliminate splashing when it comes time to use the hand blender.
5) Take approximately 2 cups of the blended tomatoes and put into your blender, add the cut up onions, peppers, parsley, ground cloves, dried basil and the first portion of salt. Once pureed well then pour into the tomato mixture in the large stock pot.
6) Put the bay leaves in the pot. You can put them into a cheese cloth for easy retrieval when it comes time to remove them from the soup mixture. Once they are in the pot bring the tomato mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Once a boiling is reached turn the element down to low and simmer for 2 hrs. You need to be stirring quite often as you do not want the bottom to have any burnt taste.
7) Remove the bay leaves and discard. Then, VERY, VERY carefully take your tomato mixture portions at a time to only fill your blender to ¾ of what it can hold. BEWARE!.. when you put the hot liquid into a blender it can ‘spit’ back at you. Start the blender out on the lowest setting to let it work into a high speed. As a protective “insurance” it is wise to hold a cloth over the lid to insure should it spit that it doesn’t burn you. IMPORTANT… check your blender to make sure it is made from heat tolerant materials. Check your owners manuals to make sure it is. Should it not be, then take one of the hand mixers * as shown in the picture* and blend the mixture in the pot. This takes a long time and lots of patience but can be done.
8) Pour the blended mixture into second stock pot (if you used your blender… if you used the hand mixer then you won’t need the second stock pot)
9) Add the Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste. I find with using both of these in this recipe it helps in the thicken process. I am going to learn how to make both of these over the next year so it will be completely from my garden next year. Simmer for 1 hr.
10) Once again put the mixture through the blending process. At this point the seeds and skin will be soft enough for the majority to “disappear” within the very blended mix.
11) In a medium sauce pan melt butter on medium heat. Once it is melted stir in flour and second portion of salt.
12) Add 5 cups of tomato mixture to flour mixture and mix to smooth. This will be very thick! Using the hand held blender works well for that.
13) Turn tomato mixture up to a boil and add flour mixture. Mix thoroughly to make sure there are no lumps. Turn the mixture to a medium to low setting depending on your stove. Using the handheld mixer works amazing for that, but beware to keep the hand blender IN the mix so to avoid very hot splashes. Once the flour mixture has cooked in it will become very thick, the consistency of the commercially canned tomato soup. Cook on low stirring constantly for ½ hr more.
14) Pour into jars to within 1 inch below the rim of the mason jar. Secure lids
15) Process in pressure cooker (follow the directions of your pressure cooker to be sure of protecting your jars and your pressure cooker itself) Pressure cook for 20 mins for ½ pints, 25 mins for pints and 30 mins for quarts all at 10lbs pressure THIS RECIPE MUST BE PROCESSED IN PRESSURE COOKER.
Have a pot of tea handy and some cool water and enjoy the process. It is worth the time and effort to get a great soup. It is truly a family favorite around our house.
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