while I make a wonderful french onion soup from scratch (it is in the recipes listed on my site) and never pass up the chance to make some - I liked the idea of making a few quarts for pressure canning - quick to grab, use in recipes and enjoy!
French Onion Soup
*for Pressure Canning
makes 6 quarts
6 pounds organic onions, sliced
1 Tbs butter
pinch of sugar
14 cups beef broth (your own, homemade broth... or store bought will do)
3/4 cup red wine
1 bay leaf (remove before jarring broth)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp. garlic powder (or 1/2 tsp minced garlic)
salt (canning or sea salt) and pepper to taste
Slice onions and place into a large stockpot with 1 Tbs butter and a pinch of sugar, you can caramelize the onions in batches and place all back into pot to keep hot. However, since canning really cooks them down - I basically "sweated" the onions in the stock pot until translucent and cooked down a bit.
While the onions are cooking down, I prepare my jars, lids, rings and canner. It's also a good time to start your broth. If you have homemade - its a great use but, store bought is fine too. I brought my broth to a quick boil - adding in all my spices and bay leaf and lowered to a simmer for a good 20-30 minutes or until onions are ready for jarring.
When onions and broth are ready, use tongs (and funnel over hot, clean jars) to add 2 cups of onions to each Quart jar. Fill all your jars with the prepared broth to 1 inch head-space. I fill all my jars with onions first, then split the broth between all the jars - that way, if I run short on broth I am not cheating one jar - I just heat up some more plain beef broth and top off the jars. Make sure to use your de-bubbler tool to get any trapped air out, and add broth if needed to bring back up to 1 inch head-space.
Using a damp cloth moistened with white vinegar, wipe the jar rims and add hot lids and rings, tightening on to fingertip tightness and place into canner.
Process Quarts of soup in pressure canner (I process at 13 pounds pressure on a dial gauge canner for 75 minutes. (11 pounds is for sea level, dial gauge canner) make sure to check your altitude before canning!!
Slice a baguette on a diagonal into 1/2″ pieces. Butter bread and toast lightly in a hot oven, add 2-3 Tbs. grated Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese and broil until bubbly and brown.
Heat the soup to a low boil for at least 10 minutes.
Serve each bowl of soup with a couple of cheese toasts.
*Adding a dash of cognac before serving is optional but, traditional.
Recipe and Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
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