Canning Tomato Soup

by Merissa on September 11, 2013

in Canning and Preserving

Post image for Canning Tomato Soup

Canning Tomato Soup

As the fall season approaches, I tend to start thinking of warm soups to celebrate the impending season.   One of my favorite light soups is tomato soup.  It is so simple, yet wonderfully flavorful, rich, and satisfying.  Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, you would be hard pressed to find another lunch time favorite as good as tomato soup.

The great thing about making and canning tomato soup, is the ability to cater the seasoning to your particular tastes.  The recipe below is slightly sweet, salty and savory, and has much more depth of flavor than canned tomato soup.

Canning Tomato Soup

What You Need:

Makes 5 quarts

  • 12 pounds of ripe tomatoes
  • 6 cups onions
  • 4 cups celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid per quart jar

canning tomato soup

Start by chopping the onions, celery, garlic and basil.

Select tomatoes that are fresh, ripe and firm.  Wash, core and remove any bruised or soft spots from the tomatoes.  Place a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat.  Quarter a third of the tomatoes and quickly add them to the pot.  Use a potato masher or something similar to gently smash and break down the tomatoes, stirring frequently.  Quarter another third of the tomatoes and add them to the pot, continuing to smash and stir.  Quarter and add remaining third of tomatoes, then add the onion, celery, garlic and basil.

canning tomato soup

Simmer tomato mixture, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until tomatoes are broken down and vegetables are soft.

canning tomato soup

Press tomato mixture through a sieve, food mill or fine mesh strainer, to separate the juice.

Return juice to the large pot and add sugar and salt.  Start with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and taste.  If you want it sweeter, add the other 1/4 cup.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.  Ladle hot soup into sterilized jars using a sterilized funnel, leaving 1/2" of headspace. Add in the citric acid (1/2 teaspoon per quart jar, 1/4 teaspoon per pint) and stir in with the handle of a long spoon.

Wipe the rimes of the jars with a clean paper towel, then place sterilized lid on top of the jar.  Thread ring onto the jar and tighten until fingertip tight.

canning tomato soup

Process in pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 20 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts.  Be sure to check your pressure canner's instruction manual to follow proper procedure.

*Contact your local extension office for information on altitude/temp/timing changes for all canning recipes.

Make sure you check out all the free Canning and Preserving Recipes we have on Little House Living!

We recommend a Presto Pressure Canner and the book Putting Food By for all your canning projects!

 Have you ever tried canning tomato soup? What other soups do you can?


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7:00 am

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica September 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

mmmm. I love soups as the air turns crisp. Thanks for this, I have not tried to can tomato soup before.



2 Margaret September 11, 2013 at 10:33 am

Just in time for fall. Thanks for the tips


3 Andrea September 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I think I will try reheating the soup with some fresh vegetables and rice for a heartier soup!


4 Shelly Smith September 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Is this soup able to be canned in a water bath canner? I have never tried pressure canning, but I often can my tomatoes and/or tomato sauce using a water bath method. Not sure if the acidity level is high enough??


5 Merissa September 15, 2013 at 8:52 am

Onions and peppers are low acid items and thus the need for this recipe to be pressure canned.


6 Charles June 25, 2015 at 10:45 am

This recipe author is fantastic at ensuring the correct process is explained as per best practices for the current Millennium. It is really important to understand what can and cannot be water bath canned. As a professional home canner, I can about 2,000 jars per year and I feel confident with both the author and recipe if followed as described above! Detail always ensures safety. Thank you Andrea.


7 Karen Holyk October 3, 2013 at 8:01 am

Just a quick question. I’ve never made homemade tomatoe soup yet, but with this years incredible tomatoe bounty from the garden I’m trying out all kinds of new tomatoe recipes! 🙂 Anyway, I was just wondering, if I peel the tomatoes, and then put everything through the food processor (tomatoes, oniones, peppers, etc), and then can; rather than putting everything through the strainer? or would that make it too thick? Has anyone tried this?


8 Miss September 9, 2014 at 9:41 am

Yes, that’s how I made a similar recipe of this. We cooked the celery and onion in a little evoo and then used a vitamix or food processor. We ran the tomatoes through a victorio and kept all the pulp in too.


9 Stephanie May 1, 2015 at 1:31 pm

When you add low-acid vegtables, you need to adjust the time. Just make sure that whatever the longest one required is used, to be safe.


10 TJ October 1, 2016 at 5:50 pm

I don’t peel mine, because I’m growing them organically and figure, why waste the peels? I cook and then puree with an immersion blender. Thick and yummy!


11 Andrea October 3, 2013 at 9:42 am

Hi Karen,

Glad to hear you have a great bounty this year! I think it would be fine to peel the tomatoes and run through the food processor, but I think the food processor may create some separation issues after it’s been stored for a couple weeks. I think it will be fine though, just make sure that after you put it in the food processor, to reheat the soup to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes before canning.


12 Karen Holyk October 4, 2013 at 7:10 am

I make tomatoe sauce by peeling the tomatoes, and then food processing all the veggies, it doesn’t separate in the jars. Although, that we add flour etc to thicken, and then boil for probably 1.5 hours before canning. I’ll try making the soup with the food processor, and see how it goes! 🙂 Thanks!


13 Crystal August 2, 2014 at 9:13 pm

I know this is from last year but I came across this on Pinterest and loved that it didn’t have flour in it! I have been searching for a good sounding one without flour. I just don’t feel comfortable canning it! I changed the recipe ever so slightly…I added 2 T. lemon juice per quart (to make sure it was acidic enough) and added an extra 1/4 c sugar (I went with 3/4 c total of brown sugar) the added sugar was to off set the possible acidic bite from the lemon juice. I ended up with 4 qts and 1 pint (think I may have had 10 pounds of maters not 12) I have the 4 qts in the pressure canner right now and the pint in the fridge for lunch tomorrow! Thanks for the great recipe and I used to live in South Dakota 🙂 I was outside of Rapid City. Cheers!


14 Lauralee August 16, 2014 at 10:17 am

Thank you! Very clear and easy to understand.


15 Angela August 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I made a half recipe of this for canning to make sure it was a good recipe before committing to a large quantity. I ended up with 2 quarts and a shy pint which my husband and I ate for lunch. Not sure the 2 quarts are going to last the week! Super good! Will for sure be making this again later this week with my next mega batch of tomatoes. I did cut back on the onions a little bit, but that was my only modification.


16 Kim September 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Instead of canning this could it be frozen.


17 Merissa September 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Yes it can!


18 Miss September 9, 2014 at 9:04 am

I just made a recipe similar but instead of straining all of that good stuff out we put it through a food processor and used it to thicken the soup. We also added a roux of butter and flour to thicken the soup. Make the roux then add the processed veges back in before adding to the pot of soup.


19 judy mealy September 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

I onl have a digital 6qt pressure cooker,could I use that or can I do it in a large pot,help!


20 Amy April 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Hi – this is a late reply but if you plan on canning this recipe it must be done using a pressure CANNER (different than a pressure cooker). I’m probably too late but I hope this helps!


21 judy mealy September 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

about how many tomatoes ar 12lbs?


22 Tricia September 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

Hi Marissa!
I have never canned before, but next year we are planning a bigger garden and I want to do ALOT of canning. Could you direct me to articles you have written or some other sources of information that I could use to teach myself how to can? I plan on buying a waterbath canner soon. thank you!


23 Merissa September 9, 2014 at 11:21 am

Hi Tricia, I have a few videos on my YouTube page here: and I highly recommend the book Putting Food By. It’s an excellent all around resource!


24 Ashley February 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I have ben looking for a homemade soup recipe. I can’t wait to try this! My kids love to take it in their lunch. I am planning a garden for this comming summer and hope to get enough tomatoes to eat, make crushed tomatoes, this soup, taco sauce and salsa.

I appreciate the comments to ladies! Thank a bunch!


25 Evie August 2, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Hi. I am new to canning. I am also a diabetic and need to watch my salt. So canning is good for me. I do not have a garden this year but want to make this soup. Can I buy tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes to make it? If so how many cans do I need? It sounds delish and I am anxious to give it a try. Thank you. Evie


26 Kimberly September 6, 2015 at 10:30 am

I don’t know how to thank you, I have been looking for a recipe for tomato soup without the added butter( I get very ill with dairy or any types of meat) I have tomatoes that need canning and really wanted to do tomato soup. This has been a God send for me and I am going to go out and make it now


27 Megan September 9, 2015 at 10:47 am

Hey can I use lemon juice as the citric acid in this recipe?


28 Merissa September 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Yes you should be able to.


29 Gillian September 12, 2015 at 12:19 pm

I love pressure canning! Needing a recipe for tomato soup and came across yours. Question: can I skip the citric acid? I have none and have never seen it our grocery stores locally….


30 Merissa September 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Since tomatoes are considered a low acid food you will need to add some kind of acid to them to make them safe for canning. Citric acid, vinegar, or lemon juice will work.


31 Michelle October 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Is salt optional?


32 Merissa October 24, 2015 at 8:48 am

Of course.


33 cherie February 26, 2016 at 12:48 pm

I made this soup last fall according to the directions. I made about 12 pints as I wasn’t sure how much I would like it. Needless to say, this summer I will can at least twice that many! It is very simple but rich and full of flavor. It was thick enough but not too thick. I didn’t need to add anything to it at all. Just heat and eat. Never again with the canned tomatoes soup!!


34 Cheri Scanlon September 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm

This is a great recipie! I made it today and everyone loves it. I still had salsa left over from last year, so I was looking for something new to use up my tomatoes. This was my first time making tomatoe soup, followed the recipie exactly and it came out great! Thanks.


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