Day 67: Celery Soup Base

Celery Soup Base
Day Sixty-Seven (26.07.2012)
Processing: Pressure Canner 40 mins (pints)
Yield: 4 x pints (8 cups)

After making delicious homemade chicken stock over the past two days, today I wanted to can a soup that used some of the stock - but you can easily use store bought stock (or a dissolved stock cube in water) if you don't have homemade stock. it's a base you add the cream etc to when you heat it up to eat (as cream isn't safe to add when canning). Now we have several different varieties of soup in the cupboard that are handy on lazy weekends or when it gets cold or when I am too busy to cook a meal. 
Pre-heat jars and lidsFor each batch, you'll want to pre-heat your pint or quart jars by covering in boiling water and boiling for 10 minutes. Simmer seals and rings covered in water for 10 minutes. Pour 2 inches of water into your pressure canner and bring to a boil. By the time the stock is heated and is ready to can the jars will be heated and ready, too.

Prepare and saute vegetables
Wash and trim celery, dicing into small pieces. Remove skin from onions and dice into small pieces as well as mincing the garlic clove. Saute the celery, garlic and onion with the olive oil in a pot gently, to allow the vegetables to release their juices to prevent sticking, simmering for about 10 minutes (or until the onion is translucent). While the vegetables simmer, peel and finely dice the potato. Add the white wine to the pot and stir to combine. Then add the diced potato and the stock, seasoning with salt and pepper and simmering for 5 minutes further. Set aside.  
Fill jars
Position a funnel over the jar, using a slotted spoon divide the hot vegetables amongst approximately four pint jars per batch - fill the hot jars to about 3/4 full with the vegetables - then ladle the
hot stock into the jars to a 1 inch (2.5cm) headspace. Remove any bubbles, adding extra stock if required to correct headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth (damped with vinegar) then wipe dry with a clean dry cloth or paper towel. Add seals to centre of jars and twist rings on to fingertip-tight.
Place filled jars into pre-heated pressure canner. Add canner lid and place onto high heat, once white steam is visible allow to vent for 10 minutes then add weight and begin processing at 10 pounds pressure (weighted gauge) or 11 pounds pressure (dial gauge) for 40 minutes (pints). Once complete, turn off the heat and allow pressure to return to zero before removing pressure canner lid. Remove jars after 5 more minutes to a tea towel-covered bench to rest overnight. 
Checking seals after 24 hours
The next day check jars have sealed: they shouldn't flex up and down when pressed in the centre. If jars haven't sealed, refrigerate or re-process. For sealed jars, remove bands, label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. I made 4 x pints of celery soup base following this recipe.
Re-heating / Serving
The recipe says to heat the celery soup over medium heat until bubbling, then puree with an immersion blender carefully. Add two tablespoons of cream and drizzle with black truffle oil and a fresh dill sprig. Sounds delicious!
3 cups diced celery (approx 1 pound / 500g)
1 cup diced brown onion (about 1 medium)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup peeled, diced potato (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup white wine (I used Sauvignon)
1 quart (950ml) chicken or vegetable stock (I used fresh chicken stock I made yesterday)
Make several types of canned soup like this celery soup and not only are they handy during the cooler months, they are nice to give to family who are feeling unwell. You can make several batches at once and fill your pressure canner to jar capacity to get the highest yield :(^_^):

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