Thursday, July 23, 2015

Homemade Chili Starter

Some evenings, after a long day of work, it's so nice to have canned soups waiting in the pantry.  Homemade ones, of course, with far less sugar and no weird additives like the store-bought stuff.  Part of my less busy days of summer I spend restocking the pantry for the rest of the year, and making soups to can is a change from making jams and jellies.

Typically I use the recipes in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (as I did to make this batch of chili starter), but I also like the basic recipes in So Easy to Preserve, a publication of the Extension Service in Georgia.  One of my favorite recipes is beef with peppers and onions, a simple mixture of lightly seasoned beef with peppers and onions canned in beef stock.  Using the formulas in So Easy to Preserve, it's a simple matter of calculating the appropriate pressure and time to process.  I don't add any thickeners, those come later when I reheat the stew for dinner.

There are hosts of recipes on the internet for homemade soups that can be processed and canned for later meals, but be sure to cross check them.  Be cautious of any that claim you can add flour, or pasta, or simply water bath them.  The flour and pasta will become straight mush, and you can't water bath a soup because it isn't acidic enough to be processed that way safely.  If you can't pressure can, then freezing is an excellent option.  But, speaking from experience, nothing beats a good home-canned soup, stew or chili!

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