Preserving the Delights: A Guide to Canning Butternut Squash Soup

How to Can Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is a flavorful and nutritious dish that many people enjoy. Making a large batch of this soup is a great way to save money and have delicious homemade soup on hand. However, if you find yourself with an abundance of butternut squash soup, you may be wondering how to store it for long-term use. Canning can be an appropriate solution for preserving butternut squash soup. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in canning butternut squash soup and provide tips for heating and serving the canned soup.

Is it safe to can homemade soup?

Canning homemade soup requires special considerations to ensure safety. While some low-acid foods can be canned using a boiling water bath or inverted jar method, these methods are not recommended for canning soup. Soup is a low-acid food that should only be canned using a pressure canner. The high temperature reached during pressure canning kills bacteria, making the soup safe for long-term storage.
It is important to note that canned soup should ideally be consumed within a year to maintain its nutritional value. While properly sealed jars can theoretically preserve soup indefinitely, it is best not to push the limits. To keep track of freshness, label the jars with the date they were canned and rotate the oldest jars to the front when adding new ones.

Steps to Canning Butternut Squash Soup

Canning butternut squash soup requires several steps to ensure proper preservation. Here is a quick guide to canning butternut squash soup:

  1. Prepare the squash: Wash the squash thoroughly, remove the seeds, and cut into 1-inch slices. Peel the slices and cut into 1-inch cubes. Parboil the cubes for 2 minutes.
  2. Ensure safe ingredients: Make sure all ingredients in your recipe are safe for canning. If you plan to include beans or peas, cook them before canning. Noodles, rice, and dairy products should be added to the soup when it is ready to serve because they cannot be safely canned.
  3. Cook the soup: Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, being careful not to overcook the soup, as it may become mushy when reheated.
  4. Fill the jars: Remove the soup from the heat. Fill the jars halfway with the solid ingredients, then top off with the liquid. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of each jar. If there is not enough liquid, heat some chicken or vegetable broth separately and use it to fill the remaining jars.
  5. Process the jars: Place the lids on the jars and process according to the instructions that came with your pressure canner. Typically, pints require 60 minutes of processing, while quarts require 75 minutes.

How NOT to Can Homemade Butternut Squash Soup

While there may be rumors or kitchen hacks suggesting alternative methods for canning butternut squash soup, it is important to follow the proper canning process to ensure safety. One such method is to fill sterilized jars with hot soup, place the lids on, and turn the jars upside down to seal themselves. However, this method is not effective enough to protect against botulism, and butternut squash soup is particularly susceptible to contamination. This is why it is important to use a pressure canner when canning soups.

How to Heat & Serve Canned Butternut Squash Soup

Canned butternut squash soup can be conveniently heated and served in several ways. Here are some quick instructions for heating and serving the soup:

  1. Microwave: Pour the soup into a microwave-safe container and cover with a splash guard. Heat the soup in 1-minute bursts, stirring occasionally, until the desired temperature and texture is achieved.
  2. Stove top: Pour the canned soup into a saucepan, cover, and heat over low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and check to see if the vegetables are done. Pureed squash requires less cooking time.
  3. Instant Pot: Pour the canned soup into the Instant Pot and use the pressure cooker setting. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Add any dairy or puree the soup after it is cooked.
  4. Slow Cooker: Empty a jar of canned soup into a slow cooker and let it simmer on low all day. This method allows the flavors to develop and the soup will be ready when you get home.

Alternative ways to store butternut squash soup

If canning is not your preferred method of preserving butternut squash soup, there are alternative storage options to consider:

  1. Refrigeration: If you plan to eat the butternut squash soup within a week or two, you can store it in the refrigerator. Transfer the soup to airtight containers or jars and refrigerate immediately. It is important to chill the soup quickly before refrigeration to prevent bacterial growth. To reheat, gently heat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave until it reaches a safe serving temperature.
  2. Freezing: Another way to preserve butternut squash soup is to freeze it. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring to freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. It is recommended to leave some headspace in the containers to allow for expansion during freezing. Label the containers with the date and contents and store in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  3. Dehydration: Dehydrating butternut squash soup is a unique method of preservation that involves removing moisture from the soup. This process requires a food dehydrator or an oven set at a low temperature. Spread the soup thinly on dehydrator trays or baking sheets and dry until leathery or crisp. When completely dehydrated, store the soup in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags. To rehydrate the soup, simply add hot water or broth and let it sit until it reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Refrigerator Jams: Another creative way to store butternut squash soup is to make a refrigerator jam. Simmer the soup on the stovetop until it thickens and reaches a jam-like consistency. Pour the hot jam into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace, and seal with lids. Once cooled, store the jars in the refrigerator for up to one month. This method allows you to enjoy the flavors of butternut squash soup in a different way.

In conclusion, canning butternut squash soup is a safe and efficient way to preserve this delicious dish for long-term use. By following the proper steps and guidelines, you can enjoy the convenience of having homemade soup available whenever you want. In addition, alternative storage methods such as refrigerating, freezing, dehydrating, and turning the soup into refrigerator jam offer flexibility for preserving butternut squash soup according to your preferences. Experiment with these methods and enjoy the flavors of butternut squash year-round.


Can I use a boiling water bath or inverted jar method to can butternut squash soup?

No, it is not safe to can butternut squash soup using these methods. Soup is a low-acid food and should only be canned using a pressure canner to ensure the correct temperature and to kill bacteria.

How long can I keep canned butternut squash soup?

Ideally, canned butternut squash soup should be consumed within a year to maintain its nutritional value. Properly sealed jars can theoretically store the soup indefinitely, but it is recommended not to exceed the one-year mark for optimal quality.

Can I puree the pumpkin before preserving the soup?

It is not recommended to puree or mash the pumpkin before canning. If you prefer a smooth consistency, puree the soup when ready to eat or freeze it instead.

Can I add noodles, rice or dairy products to the soup before canning?

No, it is not safe to add noodles, rice or dairy products to the soup before it is canned. These ingredients should be added when the soup is ready to be served as they cannot be safely canned.

What are alternative methods of storing butternut squash soup?

If canning is not your preferred method, you can store butternut squash soup in the fridge for a week or two, freeze it for up to 3-4 months, dehydrate it for long-term storage, or make it into fridge jam for a different culinary experience.

How should I heat and serve canned butternut squash soup?

Canned butternut squash soup can be heated and served in a variety of ways, including the microwave, stovetop, instant pot or slow cooker. Follow the instructions in the article for detailed heating and serving guidelines.