Canned Tomato Soup

How to Make Homemade Canned Tomato Soup (gluten-free) | The Baking Beauties

Welcome to canning season in this Baking Beauty’s kitchen. I don’t can much, but when those tomatoes turn red, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Besides making salsa, I also make this Canned Tomato Soup.

This recipe comes from my Mother-in-law, I have no idea how long she has made this soup, but when I started dating her son 16 years ago, I know she was making the soup then already. I always found the soup to be too warm though. Like, beads of sweat on your forehead warm. But, that must have been a year for strong onions, strong peppers, and a few more dashes of cayenne, because I don’t find it to be too spicy anymore.

Ever since going gluten-free, I’ve been sure to make enough of this tomato soup to fill my pantry shelves, sometimes even making enough for a few years (you never know when you will have a bad tomato crop, so better to plan ahead). This soup has become a staple in our house, and I hope your family will enjoy it as well. You are going to want to print it out, put it in a plastic sleeve to keep it free of splatters, and bring it out whenever the tomatoes start ripening.

Canned Tomato Soup
Recipe type: Canning
Yields 8-10 pints.
  • 1 1/2 ice cream pails (24 cups) tomatoes, cut into chunks (I prefer to use Roma tomatoes because they are less juicy than other tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 4 cups onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large green peppers, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped (about 3/4 - 1 cup chopped)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  1. Put chopped tomato into a large stock pot. Mash them with a potato masher to extract some of the juice. Begin to heat the tomatoes on a low-medium temperature while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the tomatoes, and bring the mixture up to a boil over medium - medium/high heat, stirring often, being careful not to burn.
  3. Once ingredients have come to a boil, reduce heat and allow the vegetables to slowly boil for another 2 hours, or until the vegetables are all very soft.
  4. Remove bay leaf (if you can find it, if not, don't worry about it). Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Note: If you do not have an immersion blender, you will have to wait for your soup to cool before using your regular blender. Hot liquids in a blender can be very dangerous.
  5. Carefully scoop some of the soup mixture into a Chinois or rotary food press fitted over a large bowl. Press the juice through the press, and discard the peel and seeds. Repeat until you have pressed/strained all the soup. Reserve 2 cups of the soup mixture. Return the rest of the soup to the stock pot
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together: 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup salt, and 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  7. Add 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine, and the reserved soup.
  8. Slowly bring the strained soup back up to a gentle boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and continue to boil until the soup has thickened.
  9. While the soup mixture is reheating, place your canning jars in a large canner with enough water to cover them by at least 1-inch, and bring to a boil. Boil for at least 10 minutes. Also place your lids in a pan of simmering water, and simmer for 10 minutes. This ensures that the jars and lids are sterilized before adding the soup to them.
  10. Lift the sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and empty them. Half should be emptied into the sink, and half should be emptied back into the pot to keep the boiling water level up.
  11. Fill each jar with tomato soup, to within 1 cm of the rim. Wipe the rim clean with a paper towel dipped in boiling water, and place the lids and rings on top of the jar. Return the jars to the boiling water bath and boil them for 20 minutes, well covered in water.
  12. Remove from waterbath and set jars on a dry towel, free from drafts. Allow to cool completely before checking that each jar has sealed (the lid is pulled down slightly, and no longer "pops" when you push on it). Label and store in cool, dark place. It is best to used home canned goods within 12 months.
UPDATE September 20, 2013: Directions for canning goods are always being updated. It is now recommended that you use a pressure cooker. These directions come directly from Bernardin's website (
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
To serve the soup: Empty the contents of the jar plus an equal amount of milk into to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soup is hot & steaming. We like to serve ours with tortilla chips, shredded cheese & sour cream for a quick, simple tortilla soup.



  1. says

    I have never heard of using the microwave to seal the cans. What a neat idea. It seems like it would be so much easier and less messy than the big old pot of water.

    I’m just getting my tomatoes in (it’s so hot here we’re in reverse of everyone else’s summer). I’m gong to to keep this and I KNOW I will have beautiful tomatoes to make this soup. Every year my tomato crop is just enough for a few salads. I’m hoping this will have some mojo on it to bring me lots o’ tomatoes!

  2. Karin Goodman says

    I have canned pickles and jams, and have never heard of using the microwave. You’re not suppose to put metal in the microwave, but the lids are ok??

  3. Tiffany Maholm says

    Can you add an equal amount of water instead of milk–as we are allergic to dairy here at our house as well as gluten?

    • says

      I’ve never tried it with water, but I guess water, or a non dairy milk would work as well. Just like the store-bought soup, where you can add water or milk, it may be a a personal preference (I never could eat tomato soup made with water though, not creamy enough, but that’s personal taste).

  4. says

    I made this last night after finding it on Pinterest and it is the BEST recipe for tomato soup I have ever tried. I’ve been looking for one for YEARS, I never would have thought to add butter or corn starch. Thank you so much!!!!

  5. Ann Swartz-Beckius says

    Just made this soup, AMAZING! However, I found it after my tomatoes have all been frozen for the year. Thoughts on making it with frozen tomatoes?

    • Jeanine says

      I haven’t tried it, but I think you’d be able to use tapioca starch, or whatever you use as a thickener in place of cornstarch.

      • Tracy says

        I typically stay away from any recipes that have corn anything in them. They never turn out as nice. But I just HAVE to try this soup. It seems like it would be so good! Thanks for the advice!!

  6. Susan Taylor says

    Jeanine, I don’t know if you noticed, but, #’s 7,8,9,& 10 amounts aren’t complete. So I can guess they should be 1/4 C & 1/2 C measurements? This looks good and I want to try it!
    Also Sarah (9/9/2011) commented about using the microwave. I didn’t see anything about that!?!
    Thanks, Susan

    • says

      Oops, thanks, Susan! That got lost when I converted the recipe to make it more printer (and google) friendly. Thanks!
      When the post was originally shared, I mentioned a microwave method for sealing the jars, however, it is not a safe method, so I removed that option, since I didn’t want to be responsible for making people ill. :)

  7. Rita says

    Hi Jeanine…..your recipe is missing the actual amounts used for the cornstarch, sugar and salt……can you tell me what they are? Thanks.

  8. Karalee says

    Jeanine, I’m very excited to try this recipe, but would you please look at the ingredients in the 2nd section?? The quantity for the cornstarch (for example) says /4…. and I don’t know if that means 4 cups, or if it was supposed to be 1/4 cup? See what I mean? All the ingredients in that section have the slash in front of them, so I’m not sure. If you could clarify, I would really appreciate it :) Thank you!

  9. Beth says

    Jeanine –

    Have you ever heard of making this soup by pureeing the tomatoes first with a nice blender and then cooking it down? I have a Vitamix that turns seeds and peels to smooth delish-ish-nis – I wonder if this would work? Thoughts?

  10. Kathy Lincoln says

    I have been researching recipes on the net and came across your recipe for canned tomato soup. Your recipe is the first and one that does not say, that you MUST use a pressure canner, to process the soup! If I am understanding your recipe, you say to process in a regular canner, covering the jars with water and process for 20 minutes. Is this right and is it safe, not to use a pressure canner? Thanks, Kathy, Etna, Ca.

    • says

      Hi Kathy! Thanks for pointing that out. The processes used for canning items is constantly changing. What used to be safe, is now considered unsafe. I have found the correct information, and added it to the recipe. Interesting how salsa doesn’t require pressure canning, but tomato soup does. Hmm…

  11. Rae says

    Hey Jeanine,

    I was wondering why there was a change from water bath to pressure canning? As long as the seal holds (I have a couple pints left from last fall before the change was made) wouldn’t it still be safe? I always check the seal and smell the contents of what I am opening, but I wanted to be sure. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Rae, Personally – I don’t find anything wrong with the water bath method, but because I’m telling others what to do, we have to keep up with the latest techniques, and “they” (food safety people), say that a simple water bath isn’t enough for tomatoes anymore, it has to be canned under pressure. :(

      • Rae says

        Thank you so much for replying! I love how they (food safety people) like to make our lives harder lol. I think I will continue with the water bath as well.

  12. Becky says

    Can I safely substitute olive or canola oil for the butter/margarine? My GF father in law is also unable to have any dairy. Thanks! (BTW, just stumbled on this site and am soooooooo excited I found it!)

    • says

      Welcome here, Becky! :) I’ve never tried subbing the butter with oil, but I don’t see why some olive oil wouldn’t work well in there. Great idea!

  13. Liz says

    I am a canning instructor and this recipe, while I’m sure delicious, is not safe for canning because of the addition of corn starch prior to canning. It is great for freezing or you can omit the corn starch and add it prior to serving.

    Also, you don’t need to sterilize any jar or lid that will be processed for greater than 10 minutes in a pressure canner or water bath canner. You NEVER want to boil the rubber ringed flats, especially not simmer for 10 minutes because it can over soften the rubber and not allow for a true seal, allowing for bacterial growth. You just heat the water up to a simmer and then shut it off, that’s plenty. You want to pour the soup into clean & heated jars, but again you don’t need to sterilize. You can find all of these guidelines at

    Here is the USDA guidelines on adding thickeners before canning: Never, under any circumstances, add a thickening product before canning. These thickening products will change the acidity level of your tomatoes and could also create a thick product that does not allow good heat penetration. As a result, adding thickeners before canning may result in an unsafe product.

    Thicken tomato products with flour,
    cream, cornstarch, etc. just before serving.
    To produce a thicker tomato product, try using Italian plum-style or paste tomatoes vs. large slicing tomatoes. Thicken salsas by adding tomato paste or by draining off some of the liquid after you chop the tomatoes. Also, thicken tomato products with flour, cream, cornstarch, etc. just before serving. If you do thicken your tomato soup mixture, it can be frozen successfully but never canned!

  14. Betsy M says

    Hi Jeanine, I have been searching online for my Mom’s (Grandma’s old) tomato soup recipe. I “could” call and ask her for it but considering that I have asked her every year for the same recipe I figured that she would scold me. lol. Well, here I find the recipe, right down to the measurement of 1 1/2 ice cream buckets of tomatoes. (LOVE that measurement. :) ) Thanks for the recipe!


  1. […] Canned Tomato Soup by The Baking Beauties Welcome to canning season in this Baking Beauty’s kitchen. I don’t can much, but when those tomatoes turn red, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Besides making salsa, I also make this canned tomato soup. This recipe comes from my Mother-in-law, I have no idea how long she has made this soup, but when I started dating her son 16 years ago, I know she was making the soup then already. I always found the soup to be too warm though. Like, beads of sweat on your forehead warm. But, t (…) Click here to read more … […]

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