There is something about homemade soup that makes it better than store-bought soup, the flavor and nutrition are both more packed in the homemade soup. If you can make a big portion, it will be less expensive at the end of the day. One of the soups perfect for batch cooking is butternut squash soup because even the squash is a bit large and you could just cook a lot immediately you start.
The issue is that you might have to find a way to store the soup if you will not be eating it all within the week. The right solution could be canning. If you want to safely can your butternut squash soup, you will need to use a pressure canner. The process is an easy one if can follow some simple guidelines.
Is It Safe to Can Homemade Soup?
People usually can their tomatoes and fruits either by using the upside-down jar or the boiling water bath method. However, these methods are not the safest for soup. Because soup is low in acid, only a pressure canner should be used to can it. You have to ensure that you set it at a high temperature that is enough to properly kill the bacteria before closing it up to be stored for a long time.
Normally, the canned soup should be eaten within one year for you to maintain its nutritional value. If you seal the jars properly, it is theoretically possible for the soup to last indefinitely, however, the best thing is for you not to go that far. Ensure all the jars are labeled with the canned dates and make sure the oldest jars are placed in the front line in case you have more canned later.
Steps to Canning your Butternut Squash Soup
You must first understand that when you are trying to can the soup, you should not mash or puree your squash before the canning process. Puree the squash when you want to freezer or eat it if you want a smooth, thick creamy consistency soup rather than a brothy, chunky mouthful soup.
Squash is perfect for bacteria as a breeding ground and could cause very serious illness because it is low in natural acid. You will increase the surface area that is exposed to air if you try to puree the squash and therefore increasing the risk of more bacteria. Instead of doing that, prepare the squash, ensure it is thoroughly washed, and remove all the seeds before you cut it in slices of 1 inch each.
It will be easier to get it peeled this way and once you have peeled it, you should proceed to cut these slices into cubes of 1 inch each. After then, allow them to parboil for 2 minutes. You are allowed to add other ingredients you will like, however, you should ensure that everything within the recipe can safely be canned.
In case you wish to use peas or beans, ensure they are cooked before canning. Also, if you wish that the soup should have rice, noodles, or dairy, they should be added when serving the soup because it is impossible to can them safely. Once all the ingredients are available, get everything combined inside your stockpot before you allow it to boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes. It should not be completely cooked because it will become mushy whenever it is reheated.
Remove the soup from heat after five minutes and begin to fill the jars with the solid ingredients about halfway and then use the liquid to top it up. Ensure you always allow an inch of headspace. In case the liquid is not enough to fill them all up, separately warm some vegetable or chicken broth and use it to top the remaining jars. You can then put the lids on the jars and proceed to process them by following the instructions that you have on the pressure canner. Usually, quarts require 75 minutes and pints 60 minutes in the pressure canner.
How NOT to Can Homemade Butternut Squash Soup
Nobody dislikes great kitchen hacks and it has been rumored that hot soup can be filled into sterilized jars, and then their lids are put on them before turning the jars upside down for them to seal themselves. You are not allowed to do this. This is because the seal cannot effectively protect the soup against botulism which the soup is susceptible to. You should not risk it. Using your pressure canner is the safe method to can your soups.
How to Heat and Serve Canned Butternut Squash Soup
Irrespective of how you want to serve this soup, it will still be very delicious. You can either puree the soup after opening the jar or allow it to remain chunky. Anything can be added to it including fresh herbs, cream, milk, or any other thing that you want. In case you wish to add rice or noodles, cook those separately and then add them to your soup before warming it up.
You will use a crockpot if you want to slow cook the soup. Get the slow cooker and empty your soup into it. Allow it to simmer all day with the setting on low as it soaks the rich flavors.
This method is the easiest and the quickest method to cook nearly anything. Get the pot and empty the canned soup inside it, use the setting of your pressure cooker and put it for five minutes. In case you want to puree your soup or you wish to add dairy, this should be done after cooking.
Using a stovetop to cook the canned soup will take a longer time as compared to other methods, but it is very easy to do. Pour the soup into your pot, place the lid on it and allow it to warm for about 10 to 15 minutes on low to medium heat. Occasionally stir it and check the veggies to see if it is ready. If you have pureed the squash, it will take less time.
Using a microwave to heat your soup is an easy and quick way to do it. Just transfer the soup into your microwave-friendly container and use a splatter guard to cover it so that there won’t be soup scattered within the microwave. Warming up does not take too long and it all depends on the quantity you are warming per time.
For portions in family sizes, begin with an interval of one minute and ensure you stir as you heat up so that the heat will be evenly distributed. Anytime the texture and temperature are fine with you, you can stop. For single servings, begin with about 30 to 45 seconds. This is because the single servings will become heated quicker and the best thing is not to overcook the soup.
Alternative Methods To Storing your Butternut Squash Soup
If you want to puree the soup before you store it, the best option is to freezing. Chunky soups can also be frozen but you need to leave out all the rice, noodles, and dairy just as you did with canning. If you want the best outcome, freeze the soup the day you cooked but ensure you allow it to become completely cooled on the counter before you put it inside the freezer.
Put them inside freezer-friendly containers in portions of single servings. The soup will be more evenly frozen if you use smaller containers. Do not put hot soup inside plastic bags or containers because it will likely leach sorts of harmful chemicals into the food. Don’t forget to allow an inch of headspace in the container so that the soup can expand. This is an important tip if you are using a glass jar because the glass could shatter inside the freezer.
You can keep your defrosted soup or open a canned jar containing soup inside the refrigerator for about 3 days.
Inside the Refrigerator
You could simply store the soup inside the refrigerator and consume it within 4 or 5 days. There are no tricks or tips involved.
What can I garnish butternut squash soup with?
Products like plain yogurt, sour cream, or crème Fraiche that are all of the tangy dairies are the most popular garnish for this soup. For more creativity, top it with some crunch like fried onions or toasted pine nuts. You may also garnish it with fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, or thyme.
What goes well with butternut squash soup?
Have you tried a sandwich and soup for lunch before? They are perfect together. You can also eat salads with soup. If you wish for a bit of more depth, get some grains and add them to salad, it could be rice or quinoa. If you also want the soup to have the main attention, use finger foods such as baguette, crackers, cheese, and crudités to pair it.
Are there any soups you can’t can?
You might not be able to can all, most especially those containing thickening agents, dairy, rice, or pasta. Also, if the soup recipe needs dried beans, first cook them or rehydrate them fully. Otherwise, you can safely can your soups if you can follow all instructions on the pressure cooker.