Pressure canning pumpkin soup

I have no adequate storage for my pumpkins, so I started pressure canning some

Our barn only has 2°C at the moment which is not ideal to store pumpkin. As I understand from searching in the internet they should be stored by room temperature. I have a lot of pumpkin from the garden and it would be a waste to let them go bad. I have already cooked some in the oven, pureed them and froze the puree portioned for pumpkin pie and pumpkin pancakes. I do not like just putting everything in the freezer. It uses power and if there would be a black out everything in the freezer could turn bad. And since we are going to travel for a longer period of time and I can not take the freezer with me, I am trying to can some of the pumpkin.

I am starting with using pumpkin for soup. This way I will have some convenience food and I can use some other vegetables from the garden. I cut up 2 pumpkins (selecting some seed for sowing next year), some onions, a bit of garlic (the garlic is very strong in taste), carrots and some root celery. This was topped of with freshly cooked bone broth from chicken carcases from chicken we had bought and took the meat of to pressure can. I filled 5 big jars and 5 small jars, to fill up the canner as much as it can take.

The pressure canner guide says to pre cook the pumpkin for 2 minutes. I did not do that and I do hope this will not get me into trouble. The pumpkin has the longest pressure canning time of all of the ingredients, so that is the time I went by.

Shortly after canning the soup we tried some. The taste is not quite as I wanted it, but to use up as much pumpkin as possible I left out the leek and turnip. These obviously change the taste. When I find the time I might do another round of soup and at the leek and turnip. I am going to pressure can the pumpkin by it self and do it by the book this time. This way I have pumpkin for puree to make pumpkin pie and pumpkin pancakes while we are travelling.

For the pumpkins which I do not manage to process before we leave, I will store these underneath the seating area in our caravan and hope they will stay good until I manage to use them up freshly.

Maybe you have noticed some toy’s in the background of my pictures. Well I do have our children around at all times and of course pay attention nothing happens while I am cooking/ pressure canning.

I bought a pressure canner from America

The first thing I tried to can is chicken and of course as second the chicken broth

I have been watching a number of American people on YouTube using a pressure canner and gotten interested in this way of preserving. Putting everything in the freezer is convenient, but often I forget to thaw things on time. A freezer also uses power all the time while canned goods just need a frost free storage. Another thing is that it is difficult to take a freeze with us while traveling as on the other hand canned goods can be packed easily.

After we bought the cow to get butchered I told my husband I wanted to buy a pressure canner and so we did. I found it very exciding, since it was the first time I bought something from America. We can not buy a pressure canner in Europe, since it has not been approved here. It took about two weeks for the pressure canner to arrive and I was impressed by the quality of the product.

A little afraid to use it I first read the instructions a few times and had to wait until my husband had finished reorganizing and cleaning the barn. This needed to be done because he wanted to park our caravan in there for the 2 weeks we plan to go onto a holiday. Also the space and a somewhat clean barn were needed to process the butchered cow. After that we set up our camping gas stove in the barn. In preparation I had thawed 4 chickens and my husband cut of the filets and the legs. We grilled the chicken legs for lunch. They where very good with a peanut butter sauce.

I wanted to pressure can the filets. I put the pressure canner on the stove with the needed amount of water and turned the heat on middle. I put 5 pcs of ½ Liter glasses in the pressure canner to warm up with the water. I collected everything needed on the table and cut all of the filets in usable pieces. By the time I finished cutting the filets the water had warmed enough and I packed the meat in the glasses. The amount of meat was exactly right for the 5 glasses and I returned the glasses to the pressure canner and closed the canner. I left the heat on middle and waited for the steam. After 10 minutes of steaming I put the weight on and kept an eye on the pressure gauge. We are on a low altitude, so I need to pressure can with 11 psi. It took a little for the canner to reach that pressure, but since I did not put the burner to high it was relatively easy to adjust the heat and keep the pressure above the 11 psi. After the canning time was done I turned off the burner and waited for the pressure to naturally release. After that I carefully opened the canner and took out the glasses. It was interesting to see how the moisture in the glasses was still bubbling.

I took the glasses inside to cool down gently, because in our barn we only have about 12-15°C. As I understand the glasses shut not cool too quickly.

Once the meat was finished I took the canner of the stove and put my stockpot with the 4 carcasses on there to cook for the broth. I had only the chicken carcasses and water in the stockpot and had this simmer for about 5 hours, strained it and let the broth cool over night. (I had been making broth often before, but it did not smell so good and the kid’s did not want to eat things I made with it. Recently I have found out by searching in the internet that for broth, simmering for a longer period of time, you should not add vegetables, because the broth can turn bitter.) The next morning I separated the fat from the broth and heated the broth again. At the same time I heated the pressure canner with water and ¾ Liter glasses. Once the broth came to a boil I took the glasses out of the pressure canner and filled these with the broth. The amount of broth was exactly right for the glasses and the pressure canning process started again.

While canning the broth I used a glass of meat for an easy meal. I made Tai curry chicken with Quinoa. The meat was great. It did not become so dry as chicken meat usually does. We found it a success.

I have lost my “fear” for the pressure canner and want to pressure can some beef and soups as well. I am going to look for some recipe books about pressure canning to see for variations and what can all be canned this way. I think I have found a new hobby.

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