The easiest pumpkin soup recipe ever and … my pressure canner to the rescue

Everyone has their favourite pumpkin soup recipe.  My favourite is one I have posted before – Pumpkin, cashew and coriander soup.  It is a beauty (check it out here) but it does take a bit of effort.  And there are plenty of times when effort does not figure.  For those times, I have been dreaming of a recipe my mum used to make.  I had it hand written in my recipe book but somehow I lost it.  I did ask my sisters but to no avail.   I remembered the ingredients – chicken stock, pumpkin, tomatoes and onion but I couldn’t remember the proportions.

The other day, I walked under the house and saw 10 large pumpkins sitting on an old bed frame (which Maus got from the tip and serves as my vegetable airer).  They are the result of a pumpkin plant that self seeded in my neglected summer vegie patch.  Originally, I grew pumpkins because I put it in the dogs’ food but we don’t have dogs any more.  We don’t eat much pumpkin so they have just been sitting on the frame forgotten.  I decided to make pumpkin soup.

I searched on-line for another recipe I have been using and noticed a hit on Google for pumpkin and tomato soup – one click and I had it.  I was very excited.  It was the recipe mum used.  This recipe is dead simple and very tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 kg pumpkin
  • 410g can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • salt & pepper
  • cream, to serve
  1. Peel and dice the pumpkin and finely chop the onion.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook until the pumpkin is soft.
  3. Puree until smooth, taste and season as necessary.
  4. Serve with a dollop of cream, if desired.

Now that is an exceptionally quick and very tasty pumpkin soup recipe.  It is the only recipe I used to make until I lost it.  The only problem is, I have 10 large pumpkins and one kilo of pumpkin was not going to put much of a dent into that pile so I decided to make five times the recipe and pressure can it.

Five times the recipe made eleven and a half litres of soup.  We have tested the soup and it is as good as I remember.  It was so successful I have bought five more onions to make another 5 x batch tomorrow.

I have already written a detailed post on how wonderful my pressure canner is (check it out here).  If you have a vegie patch, I suggest you really consider a pressure canner. No matter how hard you try, you always end up with a glut of vegetables and there is only so much stuff you want in your freezer.  They are a bit nerve racking at first but they are easy to use and it is a great way to preserve food.

My earlier post includes detailed instructions on how to can soup.  If you are considering canning this soup recipe, please, read that post before proceeding.  Here is an excerpt from it.

The critical thing with pressure canning soup is:

  1. Cut the vegetables into even cubes, about 1 centimetre
  2. Cook the soup as you usually would.
  3. Add the solids to 500 mil (1 pint)  jars until they are about half full.
  4. Add the liquid leaving ½ inch head space
  5. Follow the instructions that came with the canner.

There are only two things to remember.  You cannot blend the ingredients; nor can you thicken the soup, until you open the jar.  This is because blended or thickened soup is too thick to reach the temperatures needed to kill all possible bugs.  But this is not a big deal.  When you open a jar, you can easily use a stick blender in the pot or bowl you are heating it up in.  If a thickener is called for, you can add that at this stage, too.

I followed the instruction in my previous post.  The only difference was this time I used litre jars rather than 500 mils jars.  Litre jars require one inch head space to be left and to be processed in the canner for 80 minutes at 11 lb pressure.

A country life… all you need is patience

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About 18 months ago, I decided we needed a retaining wall built behind our garage.  I was reluctant to call the guy who had built another wall for us.  It was not that the garden wall he had built was not good – in fact, it was bloody good.  The problem was he took ages and ages to come.  I remember ringing him on a regular basis until, finally, he arrived.  When he did come, he came with a smile, did a good job and did things over and above what was called for.

In the end, I decided to risk it and called, let us name him, ***.

Continue reading

Pressure canners

185copyWhen I started this blog, I included a category entitled “My Favourite Things”.  I haven’t added much to it but, lately, I have been thinking about my pressure canner and it occurred to me that it sure deserves a spot in that category.

I bought my Presto Pressure Canner from Redback Trading Company whilst I was still working.  It was one of those items I dreamt I would need in retirement. It epitomised the life I wanted to lead.   Well, I am living that life now, and my pressure canner is being put to use. Continue reading

Chicken Stock

OK, I accept it, I got carried away ….. I will have to make lots of soup this winter.

I read in Choice magazine not so long ago that most of the chicken stock we buy from the supermarket is just reconstituted stock cubes.  I had been buying chicken stock in preference to stock cubes and to find the chicken stock was probably no different from stock cubes, but costing me so much more, was devastating. Continue reading