Fellow Canners, we are in the midst of the cold-and-flu season and many areas of the world are still working to combat COVID-19. In this, and several upcoming episodes, my goal is to give you immune-boosting recipes you may create and preserve in a jar. It is imperative we do all we can to keep our immune systems balanced and give our bodies the support they need when fighting off bacteria and viruses. In today’s episode we are going to focus on the vital micronutrients of asparagus. Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables – it is high in folic acid, is a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin, and vitamins contains vitamins A, B6, and C. I will walk through each step of my Asparagus Soup recipe so you may have this healthy soup on your pantry shelf throughout the winter months.
Fellow Canners, we are in the midst of the cold-and-flu season and many areas of the world are still working to combat COVID-19. In this and several upcoming episodes, my goal is to give you immune-boosting recipes you may create and preserve in a jar. It is imperative, no matter which season we are in, we do all we can to keep our immune systems balanced and give our bodies the support they need when it’s fighting of bacteria and viruses. In today’s episode we are going to focus on how to boost your immune system consuming Asparagus and how to create and preserve my delicious Asparagus Soup recipe.
According to Houston Methodist Leading Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic, vitamins B6, C and E are vital micronutrients who play a role in maintaining your immune system health. Let’s talk briefly about the benefits of these 3 vitamins and various foods you may find them in:
· Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale, asparagus and broccoli. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it. The good news is that vitamin C is in so many foods.
· Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. Vitamin B6-rich foods include chicken and cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin B6 also is found in green vegetables and in chickpeas, which is the main ingredient in hummus.
· Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.
Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables – it is high in folic acid, is a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin, and vitamins contains vitamins A, B6, and C.
Asparagus is also rich in folate, or Vitamin B-9. Folate is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. Additionally, folate helps eliminate free radicals from our body which help us fight disease. Eating 1 cup of asparagus provides us with 17% of an adult’s daily requirement of folate and over 60% of folic acid.
While canner often pickle asparagus using a water bather, today I am going to share with you my home canned Asparagus Soup recipe you may pressure can. This soup is the perfect immune-boost to enjoy on a cold winter’s day.
It will yield approximately 7 quarts or 14 pints. I highly encourage you to purchase a second flat rack for your pressure canner so you may double-stack those pints helping you to process them all at once.
Let’s dive into the ingredients…
You will want to start with a ¼ cup of butter.
Now before anyone’s head explodes, I want to address a sad misnomer out there that many canners cling to without fully understanding the chemical make-up of the food source, butter. While it is not recommended we home can any dairy products (although many do so with great success) I want to make it clear butter is not considered diary. I know, I know – yes, it comes from a cow, however butter is a considered an oil when cooking and canning. Butter only contains trace amounts of lactose which makes it very different from other dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Technically, butter is a water-in-oil emulsion resulting from an inversion of the cream. And just like we may successfully use olive oil in low acid canning recipes, so may we use butter successfully.
For those of you who have purchased my latest book, Beginner’s Guide to Canning, you will see in the Reference section on page 182 a source I cited which was written in a series; Food Science, Technology and Nutrition a book titled, Baking Problems Solved by Stanley Cauvain, published in 2017. Feel free to dive deeper into the subject matter at your leisure, and keep this knowledge handy the next time a ‘canning Nazi’ comes at you in an online canning group. (laughter) yes, we have all been there haven’t we…
Okay back to the ingredients.
¼ cup butter
2 medium sweet onions, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt (optional)
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 pounds asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch pieces
16 cups chicken, or vegetable, broth
2 average tomatoes, diced
· In a deep stockpot, add butter, onions, celery, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, cook until onions are translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Mix occasionally to avoid scorching. Add asparagus, mix well. Cook for an additional 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring often.
· Add broth and tomatoes, mix well. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat.
· Using an emulsion stick blender, liquefy the soup until everything is well blended and the same consistency. If you do not have an emulsion blender, allow the soup to cool and work in batches using a food processor to liquefy/puree the soup.
· Ladle hot liquefied soup into jars leaving a one inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims with a wet washcloth dipped in vinegar, add lids and rings and hand tighten.
· Pressure can jars at 11 psi; 60 minutes for pints and 75 minutes for quarts. Be sure to follow your manufacture instructions for operating your pressure canner and know your elevation for required psi.
Just a reminder once your canner’s pressure reaches zero and you remove the lid, let your jars sit for 10 to 15 minutes before removing them to cool on a cutting board. This will aide in eliminating any syphoning and help your lids seal.
Are you new to home canning and want to get started? Order my latest book, Beginner’s Guide to Canning: 90 Recipes to Can, Savor and Gift and learn how to both water bath and pressure can.
Looking to increase your knowledge of pressure canning and have more delicious soup and stew recipes handy? Check out The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning: Everything You Need to Know to Can Meats, Vegetables, Meals in a Jar and More.
Need recipes to help you cook with your home-canned foods? My independently published and IPPY Award Winning Book, Canning Full Circle: Garden to Jar to Table, gives you everything you need to know.
Find each of these popular titles on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, local book stores and more!
Thank you for tuning in! I look forward to our next episode together. Until then, Happy Canning!