14 January 2010

Heat in the Cold


No sooner had I gotten a pressure canner for my birthday in August, I decided to make a batch of soup. The Ball Blue Book of Preserving offered one particularly promising recipe that was simple to make and only a bit time-consuming to can, which all seemed worth it to me when I imagined having homemade canned soup during the cold months of winter.

Little did I know just how cold this one winter month would be, and thus how welcome a reeeaaaaally spicy soup would be. (How many jalapeños did I put in there?) Nor did I realize how welcome a minimum-preparation-required meal would be on a weekend when the dishwasher had been broken for 10 days and when I couldn't possibly be persuaded to wash another dish.

Not to worry. Southwestern Soup out of a "can" (jar, really - why don't we call it "jarring") to the rescue. I only got four quarts out of my batch back in August and I want to make them last so I used just one quart for our lunch the other day. I thickened it with a pint of tomatoes and a can of kidney beans. Oh, and spruced it up with lime, cilantro, and plain yogurt. That made it just barely enough for four people, and only a little less spicy.

But it was still probably spicy enough to melt snow.

From the Ball Blue Book of Preserving:
Southwestern Vegetable Soup
Yield: about 9 pints or 4 quarts

6 c whole kernel corn, uncooked
1 quart chopped, peeled, cored tomatoes
2 c chopped, cored, husked tomatillos
1 c sliced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sweet red pepper
1 cup sweet green pepper
3/4 c chopped and seeded long green pepper
1/4 c chopped and seeded hot pepper
3 T minced cilantro
2 t chili powder
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t black pepper
1 t salt
6 cups tomato juice
1 cup water
4 t hot pepper sauce ( I used Chipotle Tabasco)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle hot soup into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust two piece caps. Process pints 55 minutes, quarts 1 hour and 25 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner. ("jarrer" if you will)
NOTE: When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.