Canning – Brown Rice and Turkey Soup

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We’ve been canning for a while now. It all started when my family gave us some wonderful soup recipes that we wanted to make and keep in case we didn’t want to prepare dinner. That way we could just heat up a soup and eat. And trust me, we did that often. We love canning. Unfortunately, we’ve only canned soups and jellies. But we love soup and jellies – so it works out.

We have made tomato basil, brown rice and turkey, minestrone, multiple chilis and chowders and much more. The brown rice and turkey has been my favorite so far. So I’m going to post about that now.

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I adapted this recipe from Taste of Home Magazine about Soups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 (32 oz) boxes chicken broth
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 lbs (raw) turkey
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup brown rice

Canning in itself isn’t very hard, as long as you have done a little research about times and pressures for specific items. I just trust Dale (he did the research). Each kind of item needs to be canned for certain amounts of time. This is another reason we have stuck to soups and jellies. For most things, you need a pressure canner. Some things, especially things high in acidity, can be canned with just a water bath. For this soup, we are using our pressure canner which is an All American model 915.

We actually came across our canner through a friend. We knew we wanted an All-American canner, but they were well over $200 new. Luckily, she was trying to sell hers before she moved. She only wanted $150 for it, but after talking to her, we realized that she had a ton of jars too that she needed to get rid of. She told us that for only another $50, she would give us the maybe 50 jars she had. We were fine with that! BUT when she showed up to our house to drop everything off, it was more like 150 jars. She just kept unloading box after box… We were amazed. We actually did some research on some of the jars. Some of them dated back to the mid-40s. We think all these jars and this canner were passed down to her by her grandmother or something. None the less, we are taking great care of it and the multitude of jars.

Anyways, back to the recipe. Starchy items such as rice and pasta and potatoes need to be as raw and uncooked as possible when they go into the canner. They will cook in the juices in the canner. Keep that in mind.

First step would be to cook the turkey. I typically get a whole young turkey from the grocery store (bones and all). Typically you can find them in 3 lbs. This is the perfect amount of turkey for this soup. Once you roast it according to the directions on the package, cut it up as best you can. Dale enjoys eating while cutting. You gotta taste test it right?? Haha! If you aren’t making the soup immediately, put the turkey in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to make it.

Now for the soup. In a large pot, saute the red pepper, onion, celery and garlic in the butter for 5 to 7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Then add the broth, thyme and pepper. Bring that to a boil.

Next, you will want to reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for five minutes, then add the turkey. Bring that to a boil; simmer, uncovered, for five more minutes. Add the green onions.

Keep the soup on heat until you are ready to can. Now you get to prepare you jars. We recently doubled this recipe so we needed 3 quarts and 6 pints. Normally you would need 1 quart and 3 pints. You need to wash the jars then set them aside. Be sure your canner is clean and ready to go as well. You will need 2 to 3 inches of water in the bottom of the canner. Place this over medium to high heat. Also place the lids and rings in some water over low heat. You are going to want to “scald” them, not boil them.

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Now you’re ready to fill the jars.

First you want to put some rice in the bottom of the jars. We placed 1/4 cup of rice in the quarts and 1/8 cup in the pints.

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That green thing is what we use to pour the soup into the jars without spilling it everywhere. Next step would be to add the soup.

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Carefully add the soup and be sure to wipe the rim with a damp paper towel to make sure the rim is clean. Then add the lids and rings.

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We use reusable lids (and the rings are always reusable). Tighten the rings enough to keep the lids on, then place them in the canner.

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When you’re all out of soup or have no more room in your canner, it’s time to put the lid on and cook!

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For this soup, it needs to be under a 10 lb weight for 75 minutes. You might think that when you put the lid on, you can start the time, but that’s not true. See the dial on the left? That’s where your pressure is at, and you can start your time when it reaches that pressure AND the weight has been rocking for 10 minutes. This time is needed to allow air to escape from the canner. The thing on the right side is the weight. It has a 5 lb, a 10 lb and a 15 lb side. It rocks back and forth to allow the pressure to equalize in the canner. After 75 minutes under pressure, you can turn the heat off. Do NOT open the canner. It is still under pressure. You have to let it cool naturally. Once it is depressurized, you can take the lid off.

Pull the jars out and place them on a towel to allow them to cool. They might still be bubbling – they are still extremely hot. It’s recommended that you don’t disturb them for a full 12 to 24 hours… We just let them sit overnight. You also need to check the seals. If you can remove the lids with just your fingers (no force), they didn’t seal. You can refrigerate these immediately, but hopefully they sealed correctly the first time. If they did seal correctly, then re-tighten the rings and store them for up to months at a time.

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Now you get to enjoy your soup whenever you want with hardly any preparation!

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