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It is December in Canada so soup is a familiar choice to warm us up during the cold months. Tomato soup is one of those comfort foods that warms not only our tummies but our hearts. It can be seen as simple and timeless but always popular. Over the past few weeks we at Bernardin have been sharing great warm savoury recipes for the winter. This is just another one to help line your pantry shelves to keep the family full and happy during hibernation. Enjoy!

Yield: Yield: 4 x 500 ml jars

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Processing Time: 20 Minutes

Difficulty: Expert


  • 16 cups (4000 ml) chopped, peeled and cored tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 ml) chopped onions
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) chopped celery
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chopped red peppers
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sliced carrots
  • 7 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) whole cloves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup (250 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper


• Place the required number of clean 500 ml mason jars on rack in pressure canner; add water and heat jars to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside; heat lids in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.

• Combine tomatoes, onions, celery, peppers, carrots, bay leaves, cloves and garlic in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and boil gently until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Purée soup in small batches. Return puréed soup to saucepan. Add sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat soup to a boil.

• Ladle hot prepared soup into a hot jar to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of top rim (head space).

• Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre hot lid on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining soup. If stacking jars, place a second rack between layers of jars.

• When pressure canner is full, adjust water to level as directed by canner manufacturer. Lock canner lid in place and follow manufacturer’s heating instructions. Vent canner–allow steam to escape steadily–for 10 minutes; close vent.

• When canner reaches the pressure appropriate for your altitude* and type of pressure canner, begin counting processing time. Process – heat filled jars – in pressure canner – 500 ml jars – 20 minutes at 10 lb (69 kPa). NOTE: processing times indicated are for a weighted gauge pressure canner used at altitudes up to 1,000 ft (305 m). When using a dial gauge pressure canner or canning at higher elevations, adjust pressure according to chart.

• When processing time is complete turn off heat. Allow canner to stand undisturbed until pressure drops to zero. Wait 2 minutes, and then remove cover, tilting it away from your face. Remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store in a cool, dark place.