What a great resource your posts are, and this one especially. Thank you for sharing your abundance of knowledge and experience.

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Thank you for the recipes

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Hi Ashleigh, thanks so much for all the resources you provide. It's such a huge help. I just have one question please. After last winter, I boiled down and then canned all the ham bones that we had to make stock so that there wasn't so many bones in the freezer. I was going to make it into Pea and Ham Soup which is a family favourite and can it ready for winter (I'm from Australia and want to be ready for that one week that we can call winter - LOL ). I just read that keeping ham stock is not recommended but am a bit confused because there are safe recipes for Pea and Ham soup. Could you shed a bit of light on the mystery please?

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Most canners consider ham stock to be perfeclty fine, and treat it like any other broth or stock. Yes, there are tested and approved recipes for canning split pea soup, namely, this one: https://creativecanning.com/canning-split-pea-soup/

You can use water or ham stock, both are fine in this recipe.

Recently, out of an abundance of caution, the NCHFP reccomended not using ham and bacon in canning recipes that haven't been specifically tested because some types of cured meats (especially over cured meats that get really hard as a rock) are really dense, and they haven't specifically tested cured meats...just meats in general (like pork as is).

They do not know how heat transfers in cured meats, and as they haven't tested that exact thing (yet). They assume it's the same...but obviously can't know for 100% sure without specifically testing it. So, as a result, they say don't add ham or bacon to recipes, unless you have a recipe that has been specifically tested. There are specifically tested recipes, plenty of them, that do use ham or bacon.

As to your specific question on ham broth, that's fine because it's a broth, not actually canned ham. By even the strictest interpretations of the rules, ham broth is fine, and is canned like any other liquid meat broth, provided it's actually strained broth (not ham stew). The issue is with heat penetration in chunks of meat, not the broth itself, so without the meat chunks you can can the broth.

Does this help?

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That's fantastic! Thank you so much. You've made that so easy to understand.

When I make pea and ham soup, it is very thick. We are wondering if that thickness is a problem for canning?

And would that also apply to thick pumpkin soup?

Thanks Ashleigh, we've learned so much from you.

Happy Easter,

Justine (and Ron)

Brisbane, Australia

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We will try these.

It never occured to me, for some reason, that you can make marmalade at home, but we used your recipe from a week or two back, and now we have lots of great marmalade, better than store-bought. The catsand chickens don't seem t o like it, but we sure do.


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Hey Ashley!

I do hot water canning for jams and pickles sometimes, but prefer to lean into lacto-fermentation when possible. With soups, I have not gotten into the pressure canning / hot water canning of yet due to my owning a freeze dryer and my being a stickler for preserving maximizing nutrients/vitamins but the idea is growing on me as I want to diversify my off grid preparedness skills/tools incase the grid goes down.

This is my favorite soup recipe: https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/sopa-de-lima-yucatan-style-lime-tortilla it freezes well (and freeze dries/rehydrates well) but I am wondering if you think it would be a recipe that would be good for pressure canning?

Another question I have is have you ever experimented with making lacto-fermented soups? The necessary salt content might be prohibitive for some people's diet, but I thought maybe something like (veggie) Gazpacho, Borscht, or Minestrone. One could ferment some of the ingredients separately and then combine if that was easier for seasonal garden harvest/foraging logistics or one could weight down the ingredients all together in a light salt brine with herbs that lend them selves to compliment flavor. It would be a tangy probiotic rich appetizer soup for hot summer days. What do you think? :)

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So years ago I read something (I wish I could remember where) that borscht was a lacto-fermented soup, and that it was made by tossing scraps into a pot kept in a cool place (dooryard, porch, entryway, etc) for weeks at a time. Beet tops, cabbage scraps, etc. That originally, it was tangy, like kvass, and made of winter vegetable off casts that had fermented in a pot until stores ran low, and then the people started cooking and eating the borscht.

These days, most people make it fresh, but there are still plenty of recipes that use beet kvass or sauerkraut in it, to get that old fashioned tang.

But for modern tastes, you might be hard pressed to get someone to eat an all lacto-fermented soup. That said, you could probably combine a lot of ferments together with some fresh (not tangy/salty) root crops to balance it. There are a bunch of sauerkraut soups from eastern Europe that do just that.

Your soup recipe looks great! Everything in it is fine for canning, with the exception of the rice. You'd have to leave out the rice if you were canning it. (That's a downside of canning, no starchy things like you can do in a freeze dryer.). But without the rice, you could can it using the "hearty soups" protocol outlined here: https://www.uaf.edu/ces/publications/database/food/canning-soups-and-sauces.php

I also have a freeze dryer, and where canning really shines is in meat or bean based dishes where pressure canning isn't all that different than either a pressure cook or a long slow cook to make the ingredients tender. You're combining the preservation step and the cooking step in one, allowing you to use the hearty connective tissue rich cuts of meat (neck, short rib, etc) but still have them be tender and digestible.

But I agree, a freeze dryer is an excellent way to put up food in general, and works well for most things in place of a canner.

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Wow that is interesting regarding that built with scraps fermented borscht. I think I have read about people using whole fermented cabbages as an ingredient before, but I have never heard about a totally fermented soup.

Here is my recipe for Borscht (or something like it) https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/vegetable-borscht

I actually prefer to eat it hot, but I also enjoy cold sometimes.

I agree with regards to "modern tastes". I know quite a few macdonalds drive thru-ing, Campbells/instant noodle MSG laced soup loving, pop drinking people that make faces when eating bitter or sour foods (whether it is fermented or just tangy like a gooseberry or something) and they would not be down with lacto-fermented gazpacho at all! haha While I do make some food with my friend's "modernized" palette in mind, or for publishing in my book, dinner parties and sharing at my day job etc, I personally do not always obsess over making something "modernized" when it comes to taste range for myself. I mean, I eat blue-green algae because it is great fuel for the cells in my body and helps me detox and that does not taste good at all. Sure I can cover the taste with berries and stuff in a smoothie, but if I am crunched for time or ingredients i`ll just stir some into good water and chug it because I consider my body to be a gift from God and I`m gonna take good care of it even if my taste buds protest. I eat purple crabapples when I see them because I know they are extremely high in antioxidants even though some of them are super bitter and tangy, the same would apply to a lacto-fermented soup for me if it ended up having an intense flavor. I eat 100% lacto-fermented brassica or Cannabis foliage (Nepalese Gundruk style) and its it pungent, but I do like it. I don't think a fermented soup would taste bad the way I would put it together but ya your probably right it would not win any soup tasting competitions at the town potluck :)

Thanks for the kind words and advice regarding my lime soup recipe (and pressure canning in general) :)

Oh hey, before I forget, I am doing research for the next segment of my food forest series and it is focusing on a species I think would work great for your forest garden (as I remember you talking about how you have a lot of shade). It is the five flavor berry (or Schisandra chinensis). For more info: https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Schisandra+chinensis

I was nibbling on some berries today and imagining all the fun soups and fermented preserves I am gonna add them to this year, have you tasted them before?

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Thanks for this great idea! I love soup, but usually just can tomato soup. I never thought about canning other soups so that we could have an easy meal.

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