Canning split pea soup

JoyfulJan(z7GA)February 17, 2011

OK friends. I get that there are recipes to follow for canning soups, 1/2 liquid, 1/2 solids, etc. What about for split pea or lentil soup which tend to be thicker? I want to can red lentil soup with ground turkey.

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I've attached the NCHFP guidelines on canning soups. The guidelines state that dried beans must be fully rehydrated before canning.

Personally I find soups to be one of the easiest things to pressure can. The guidelines leave plenty of room for flexibility - I can easily adapt most of my favorite soup recipes for canning.

I attempted an Indian spiced corn and lentil soup. It came out as a disaster. Though I only put 1/2 cup of lentils (I used the masoor dal/red lentils) per jar, the lentils absorped all the water in the jars, and I now have jars of lentil mush. It was not the typical brothy soup interspersed with lentils and corn kernels.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to can soups

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 9:17AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The link pixie lou posted is the best source of soup info but be sure to note that the really important part of the instructions besides the 1/2 and 1/2 rule is the statement "Select, wash, and prepare vegetables, meat and seafoods as described for the specific foods." Nothing goes into the jar uncooked. ;)

BBB has the best tested and approved recipe for Split Pea soup IMO and you can substitute lentils in it with no problems. We prefer it because it allows for pureeing the soup before canning and in most cases purees aren't approved for canning.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:53AM
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@digdirt: Forgive my ignorance but what is "BBB"? I have a puréed split pea soup recipe already made (no meat, no dairy) which is fairly thick & it just occurred to me that I might be able to can several jars of the soup for future use. I am wondering if I need to thin it before canning? I would like to find the recipe you were referring to at "BBB", where would I find this recipe?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 2:54PM
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BBB is the Ball Blue Book. It's available at almost all places that sell canning supplies or from online booksellers for less than $10. Well worth the price.

Split Pea Soup
(Makes 5 pints or 2 quarts of soup)

1-16 oz. package dried split peas (2 cups)
8 cups of water (2 quarts)
1 1/2 cups of sliced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup of diced, cooked ham
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, bring peas and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and gently boil for one hour or until peas are tender. If a smooth soup is desired, puree in a food processor or food mill.

Prepare the pressure canner, jars, lids and rings.

Add carrots, onion, ham and bay leaf to saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. If soup is too thick, add boiling water.

Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle hot soup into hot jars, leaving 1" of headspace. Remove air bubbles, and if necessary add more hot soup. Wipe jar rim with damp paper towel. Center lid on jar, and screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Process at 10 lbs ~ 75 minutes for pints, and 90 minutes for quarts (adjust for altitude if necessary).

Turn off heat. Let pressure return to zero naturally. Wait a few minutes longer, then open vent. Remove canner lid. Wait ten minutes, then place jars onto a towel to cool for 24 hours. Remove rings, wipe jars if necessary. Label and store.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 4:39PM
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jill2761(Southeast Texas)

I have a question about separation, density and texture of this soup.

After following this thread, I made the BBB recipe for Split Pea Soup. I doubled the recipe and followed it exactly, except I omitted the allspice. My package of peas was 1lb-13 oz, instead of the full 2 lbs for doubling the recipe, so I figured I wouldn't need to add additional water to cut density.

I sliced the carrots, per instructions,cutting the slices from the larger ends in half to make the pieces more uniform. The onions and ham were chopped in small, uniform pieces.

I cooked the peas in water as instructed. I did not puree, even though the recipe permits it. I added the veggies, cooked 30 more minutes, then canned per instructions. The mixture was thin enough so I did not add additional water.

There was a lot of separation in the jars as I filled them, even though I kept the soup well stirred as I filled the jars. The pea mixture settled to the bottom and the carrots and onions floated in the thinner water at the top. I stirred each jar before putting lids on.

After processing and cooling overnight, The separation is even more noticeable. The heavier pea mixture is much thicker at the bottom of the jars--kind of sludgy. Not even shaking the jar blends it evenly. Well, not entirely true...if I shake really hard, it mostly blends.

As I have never pressure canned split pea soup before, I don't know if this is normal or not. Once heated, the taste and texture is exactly like my homemade/not canned soup. It has been less than 24 hours, so if I need to freeze this batch, I can do so.

Is this texture/density/separation normal for pressure canned pea soup?


    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 10:52AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Normal and safe. The amount of separation varies but better to be a little overly liquid than too thick. When you open the jars to eat you can either pour off a bit of the liquid on top if you want it to be thicker or just cook it down a bit more.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:11AM
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jill2761(Southeast Texas)

Thanks, Dave! Once I stir and heat, the density and texture is perfect. It just looks strange seeing all the carrot slices floating at the top third of the jars. This is an easy recipe to make. Appreciate the information.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:20AM
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Can the ham be omitted from this recipe, or is it necessary?

Also, I typically add dill, garlic, and soy sauce as seasonings in my pea soup. Would those be okay to add?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 1:57PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The ham can be omitted with no problem. The dill, garlic and soy are best added after opening the jars and prepping it for eating. Adding them prior to canning can have a negative effect on the flavor and appearance when shelf stored.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 2:16PM
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Thanks! That makes perfect sense about the flavor. :-)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 5:02PM
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