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Canning Tomato Soup {Homemade Canned Tomato Soup}

Follow this step by step tutorial to learn how easy Canning Tomato Soup can be. The ultimate comfort food, this tomato soup base recipe can be pressure canned or done via water bath canning. You’ll love how quickly you can whip up this easy soup recipe when you’re short on time.

a quart jar of tomato soup with basil on a wooden board

I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong, but if you don’t love tomato soup, I strongly disagree with your life choices.

Also? You’re wrong.

Homemade tomato soup is amazing and tastes so fresh, but peeling and pureeing tomatoes each time you want soup is super time-consuming. Not to mention that tomato season is only like six week long here in Seattle.

So what is a soup-obsessed girl to do? Can her own tomato soup base!

Which Tomatoes Are Best For Canning Tomato Soup?

Easy answer – whatever tomatoes you have! Paste-style tomatoes are thicker and have fewer seeds, but their flavor is not usually insanely exciting.

Throughout the growing season, I’m busy canning tomatoes {whole tomatoes}, canning stewed tomatoes, and canning diced tomatoes, but I save canning tomato soup for the end when all that is left are the random tomatoes.

Random tomatoes make the best soup because you get all the complex amazing tomatoey flavor in one delicious bowl.

You need about 45 pounds of tomatoes for 14 pints or 7 quarts. Since I never have that many at once, I do small batch canning and might produce 1-4 quarts at a time. It all eats the same.

Pro tip: if you grow your own tomatoes and don’t have enough to can at once, you can freeze them on baking trays and then transfer to freezer bags (I love these reusable silicone bags) until you have a critical mass for canning.

A canning jar being lowered into a pressure canner for canning tomato soup

Why Do I Need Bottled Lemon Juice?

The lemon juice is needed to regulate the acidity of the tomatoes to keep the ph level consistent. Storebought lemon juice generally has the same level of acidity (5%) from bottle to bottle. You don’t get that guarantee with freshly squeezed lemons. 

But you can make me a glass of lemonade with your fresh lemons. And brush my hair.

Canning Supplies

Check out this in-depth post for a complete list of canning supplies.

You’ll need:

How to Can Tomato Soup (Pressure Can) – Step by Step

*water bath canning instructions are in the printable recipe card below.

Rinse all your awesome tomatoes and cut in half. If you have big ol’ hunkers, then cut them into smaller chunks. Add a strainer/colander to a large bowl.

Wash and clean your jars. For canning tomato soup, I recommend quart-sized regular mouth jars.

It is no longer necessary to sterilize jars before canning (hurray!) but you should make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.

You can put them in a clean dishwasher and run them through a quick wash cycle, or place them in a large pan with some water in a low heat oven (my lowest temp is 170 degrees) until you need them. I’ve even just put hot tap water in them before and left them on the counter.

Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl for now.

Add the tomatoes to a pot of boiling water and parboil them until you see the skins start to come off one of the tomatoes (about 1-2 minutes).

Use a slotted spoon and remove the tomatoes and place in the strainer.

three steps showing the process for canning tomatoes

Run the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the seeds and skins. If my tomatoes are particularly watery, I will strain them a bit through a mesh strainer

Pro tip: when you have a bowl completely full of skins and seeds, run them through the food mill two more times. I always get almost an extra quart out of these scraps.

Transfer the tomato puree to a pot over low heat or a crockpot set to low. Keep warm until ready to can.

photos showing the use of a food mill in canning tomatoes

Add 3 quarts of water to your canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner. (Reminder: these are pressure canning instructions. See recipe card for water bath canning details).

Place a funnel on a canning jar, add the lemon juice or citric acid, and ladle in the warm tomato puree, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Headspace is defined as the space between the top of the food and the top of the jar. Remove the bubbles from the jar (I use a chopstick).

photos showing how you fill mason jars for canning tomatoes

Use a wet clean rag and wipe the rim of the jars to make sure they are free of any food.

Place a clean lid on the jar and tighten the ring to fingertip tight (tight enough that it won’t come off, but not so tight that the Hulk couldn’t budge it).

Preparing jars for canning tomato soup

Place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe (I call it the steam chimney). Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator (I call it the chimney cap) on top.

Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. That is a sign that you’re starting to build pressure inside the canner.

Under normal conditions, tomato soup needs to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes for both pints and quarts. See chart below for any changes to processing times.

a chart with various processing times for canning tomato soup

When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer for 15 minutes. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the next 15 minutes.

You’ll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.

When the 15 minutes are up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is crazy hot).

pressure canner prep steps for canning tomato soup

Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed. You can reprocess them or store them in the fridge or freezer (only freeze jars that are wide mouth).

Store in a cool dry place for up to 12 months.

Ok, So Why Can’t I Add Spices and Stuff to This Tomato Soup? Huh, Bossy Pants?

When you are canning with lower acid foods you don’t want to mess with any of the tried and true and TESTED recipes. Too much of one ingredient or too little of another can throw off the safety of your final product.

Instead, I treat this tomato soup as a base, much like you would if you bought a can at the store. But I never just add water; it’s more fun and flavorful to doctor it up.

This Whole30 Tomato Soup recipe is my all-time favorite. You can use this home-canned tomato soup in place of the whole tomatoes in that recipe.

a bowl of tomato soup with creme fraiche

Why Do I Need to Remove All the Seeds and Skins?

Gosh, it would be so much easier to just blend the tomatoes whole, right? Technically you don’t need to remove the seeds and skin, but I find too many seeds will turn your soup completely bitter; what a waste. Skins can also give your final product a weird texture and throw off the taste.

I made a fresh tomato soup the other day with tomatoes from our garden and didn’t take the time to peel the skins. We all spent 10 minutes trying to politely spit out little skins shreds during dinner. Sad.

If you’re in a rush, canning whole tomatoes might be more up your alley. And they’re super versatile and easy to use in soups and stews.

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a quart jar of tomato soup with basil on a wooden board
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5 from 1 vote
Canning Tomato Soup {Homemade Canned Tomato Soup}
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 mins
Depressurizing/pressurizing time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

Follow this step by step tutorial to learn all about Canning Tomato Soup. This tomato soup base recipe can be pressure canned or via water bath canning.

Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canning tomato soup, How to can tomato soup
Servings: 20
Calories: 83 kcal
Ingredients
  • 20 lbs tomatoes
  • 10 tbsp lemon juice divided
Instructions
Pressure Canning Tomatoes
  1. Rinse all your awesome tomatoes and cut in half. If you have big ol' hunkers, then cut them into smaller chunks. Add a strainer/colander to a large bowl.

  2. It is no longer necessary to sterilize jars before canning (hurray!) but you should make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.

  3. Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl for now.

  4. Add the tomatoes to a pot of boiling water and parboil them until you see the skins start to come off one of the tomatoes (about 1-2 minutes).

  5. Use a slotted spoon and remove the tomatoes and place in the strainer. 

  6. Run the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the seeds and skins. If my tomatoes are particularly watery, I will strain them a bit through a mesh strainer.

  7. Transfer the tomato puree to a pot over low heat or a crockpot set to low. Keep warm until ready to can.

  8. Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.

  9. Place a funnel on a canning jar, add the lemon juice, and ladle in the warm tomato puree, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Headspace is defined as the space between the top of the food and the top of the jar. Remove the bubbles from the jar (I use a chopstick).

  10. Use a wet clean rag and wipe the rim of the jars to make sure they are free of any food.

  11. Place a clean lid on the jar and tighten the ring to fingertip tight.

  12. Using canning tongs, gently place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe. Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator on top. (see photos in post above to see this in action)

  13. When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer for 15 minutes. The pressure must stay at 11 or a bit above for the next 15 minutes. You'll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.

  14. When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is crazy hot).

  15. Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

  16. After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it's sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed. You can reprocess them or store them in the fridge or freezer (only freeze jars that are wide mouth).

Water Bath Canning Tomatoes
  1. Complete steps 1-7 above.

  2. Fill your canner so that there will be 2 inches of water over the tallest jar that you are canning. Set it on a large burner set to high.

  3. Complete steps 9-11 above

  4. When the water has reached a rolling boil, place the jars in the canner and place the lid on top. Process pints for 35 minutes or quarts for 40 minutes.

  5. When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

Recipe Notes

Typically, 45 pounds of tomatoes will make 14 pints of 7 quarts of tomato soup.

2 tbsp of bottled lemon juice per quart or 1 tbsp per pint. You can also use 1/4 tsp (for quarts or pints) of citric acid.

Store in a cool dry place for up to 12 months. 

Nutrition Facts
Canning Tomato Soup {Homemade Canned Tomato Soup}
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 83
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 1082mg31%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 3780IU76%
Vitamin C 65mg79%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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10 comments on “Canning Tomato Soup {Homemade Canned Tomato Soup}”

  1. Hi does this recipe require salt ,and if not,why?

    • Donna, you can certainly add it if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary to keep the product safe.

      I prefer to not salt it prior to canning because it allows me to use it in recipes later that may not require additional salt.

  2. The soup mix kind of separated when I canned it, so it looks like water on the bottom half. Is that normal?

  3. Tomato anything aggravates my arthritis 🙁 So I don’t like tomato soup.

    • Is it just tomatoes or all nightshades? Have you ever looked into them as a food group? I ask because my friend has nightshade issues and all the things that count as nightshades really surprised me!

      • It seems to be any concentrated tomato, raw onion and raw peppers. I can eat the onions and peppers if they’re cooked well and fresh Roma tomatoes. The more acidic variety of tomatoes the worse it is. I’ve never eaten eggplant and potatoes are just fine for me. I also have no problem with cayenne pepper powder and paprika powder, the little I do eat of it. So spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce are out for me. I can have pizza with VERY little sauce on it.

      • How frustrating!!

        The two nightshades that surprised me were cashews and tobacco.

  4. Timely blog. We are planning to put up tomato juice/soup this weekend. I have been freezing the tomatoes as they come ripe and figure there must be 35-40 pounds by now so it’s time.