|Tomato powder made from|
This year I was once again dehydrating tomatoes, which were quite prolific in the gardens. But then when over a week of overcast skies meant we did not have the extra power to run the dehydrators and I had tomatoes stacking up in the refrigerator and then on the kitchen counters. I decided to research my soup idea again and give it one more try. I discovered one product and one technique that made all the difference. The product is Clear-Gel (not to be confused with Sure-Jell) and the technique is how you cut up your tomatoes.
|Tomatoes, onions and celery cooking down.|
Tomatoes (about 8 quarts when cut up)
1 large onion chopped
1 bunch of celery
1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 t. salt
1 1/4 cup Clear-Gel (Cooked Type)
First, what I learned about cutting up tomatoes. The tomato soup I canned last year has water separation in the jars. It is perfectly fine to use, but does not look pretty. I have learned that if you cut tomatoes and let them sit they will release an enzyme that causes water to be released from the tomatoes. To prevent this you need to heat the tomatoes quickly after cutting them. So, cut a couple cups of tomatoes, add them to your pot and get them cooking, then continue cutting your tomatoes in small batches and adding them to the pot in this manner.
|Clear-Gel (Cooked Typed) can be used|
to created canned condensed soups.
|The cooked vegetables have been run through the food |
mill to remove the seeds and skins for a smooth soup.
1. Wash tomatoes and core (remove stem). I used a mix of the six varieties I have in the gardens this year.
2. Quarter small tomatoes, for larger tomatoes cut the quarters in half for smaller chunks. Remember to do this in batches of about two cups at a time and throw them into the pot that is already on the heat.
3. Chop your onion and celery and add to the pot. I actually did this after the first batch of tomatoes to give the onions and celery a longer cooking time.
4. Once all the tomatoes, onions and celery are in the pot (my batch filled my maslin jam pan up to the 2 gallon mark) simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the onion and celery are tender.
5. Remove from heat and run through a food mill in small batches to remove the seeds, skins, etc. (I ended up with just over 1 1/2 gallons of soup.)
|Mixing the sugar into the Clear-Gel and stirring some|
of the hot liquid into this mix helps ensures a smooth
mixture when adding the Clear-Gel into the soup.
6. Prep pint jars for canning, place lids in simmering water and prep the pressure canner.
7. Add lemon juice and salt to soup.
8. Mix the Clear-Gel with the sugar.
9. Add about 2 cups of soup into the Clear-Gel/sugar mix and stir until smooth.
10. Pour the Clear-Gel mixture into the soup and stir well. The soup will not thicken at this point.
11. Ladle hot soup into jars, leaving 1 inch head space. My batch filled 16 pint jars.
12. Clean jar rims, add lids & rings and place in canner.
13. Can at 10 pounds pressure (adjust for altitude as needed) for 20 minutes.
14. When canner is ready to open, remove jars, rest for 24 hours, remove rings, label and store.
|Pints of Hammy's Condensed Tomato Soup|
(So named because my grandkids call me Hammy)