This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Canning Tomato Soup

August 22nd, 2009

My tomato harvests have been ramping up now that the warm weather is here. On Sunday I harvested over 28 pounds of tomatoes. With this many tomatoes it’s time to start canning. The recipe I’m starting with is tomato soup. I made this last year it was by far our favorite canned item. We finished off all of the jars earlier this spring, so this year I need to can more than I did last year (31 pints).
I’m particularly excited about this soup because this year I grew my own celery. I also started a lot of onions, but onions are one of those things that don’t do all that well in my garden, so I’ve been buying them at the farmer’s market.

6 onions, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
8 quarts fresh tomatoes (or 5-6 quarts of juice) *I coarsely chop mine in quarters leaving the stems on them since I’m putting them through a food mill.
1 cup sugar (I find this is too much and I use less usually 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup salt (I usually add 2 T and then taste before I add more)
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Chop onion& celery. Place in large kettle w/ just enough water to keep them from burning. While this simmers, cut tomatoes (remove stems if not using strainer).
2. Add tomatoes to kettle & cook until tender.
3. When tender put through Victorio or Squeezo (or similar food mill) strainer. (reserve 2 cups for mixing with butter/flour)
4. Return to kettle, add lemon juice, sugar & salt.
5. Cream butter and flour together& mix thoroughly with two cups of reserved juice (chill so it’s cold), until dissolved (or blend together in a blender), to avoid lumps of flour in the juice. Add butter/flour mixture to warmed tomato juice. (Add before it’s hot, to avoid lumps of flour!). Stir well.
6. Heat just until hot. (If it gets to a boil, it can make the flour lumpy). Just prior to boiling, turn off the burner. (It will continue to thicken as it cools.).
7. Ladle into hot jars with 1/4 headspace, close securely with lids.
8. Put in canner & process 30 minutes (start timing when it’s at a ‘rolling’ boil).
9. Remove from canner & allow to set until sealed (approx. 12 hours)

To serve, mix equal parts tomato concentrate to milk (or water or chicken stock), and add 1/2 t. of baking soda per pint as it cooks (1 t. per quart) if using milk, this keeps the milk from curdling. I actually prefer to add chicken stock to mine instead of milk, I also omit the baking soda when using stock or water. I serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated romano cheese, a sprinkle of cayenne and a little freshly ground black pepper.

**Some people say this isn’t long enough in a canner, some people say you should only pressure can this recipe. I’m happy with it and am quite comfortable making it and processing it in this way. If you’re uncomfortable with this method use whatever canning method you’re comfortable with.


What’s your favorite home-preserved garden food?

78 Comments to “Canning Tomato Soup”
  1. Joanna on August 10, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    How many pints does this recipe make?

    Reply to Joanna's comment

  2. Debbi on August 24, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Why add the baking soda?

    Reply to Debbi's comment

    • Susy on August 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Keeps the milk from curdling

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Joan on September 12, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Spaghetti sauce is probably my favorite – I love to just grab a jar of sauce when I don’t feel much like cooking – spaghetti and sauce is a simple and delicious meal with just a little cheese grated on it. Haven’t made any this year, and probably won’t – not much of a garden this year!

    Reply to Joan's comment

  4. Lorna on October 17, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Thank you for linking to your recipe; I have a freezer full of tomatoes to deal with and this was just the inspiration I needed to get canning! I’m curious about the lumpy flour; if you were to make a roux, could you add tomato sauce instead of milk? A roux can be brought to a boil without clumping.
    I typically make a generic sauce (I add a little sea salt, garlic and onion) and then doctor it up when I’m ready to use it–herbs for pasta sauce, more herbs and garlic for pizza, and a roux with milk for soup (I like mine creamy!). My worst tomato canning experiment was ‘diced’ tomatoes. I ended up with 21 pints of mush that got re-processed into sauce :)

    Reply to Lorna's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Homegrown Celery

This year I decided to grow celery. My sole reason for growing it was for my tomato soup (our favorite...