Heirloom Tomato Canning: Soups, Sauces and Salsa

I got a new pressure canner!

This means i can now use a dramatically larger range of ingredients for preserving. With the boiling-water-bath technique, only high-acidity or high-sugar foods can be made — tomato sauces, pickles, jams and jellies, etc.  Corn, zucchini and mushrooms have previously been off-limits, but with a pressure canner, i can use fruits and vegetables (or combinations) at any pH level. Another benefit of pressure canning is that it tends to preserve the bright natural colors of the food better than with the boiling-bath method.

Bring on the new recipes!

It’s at the end of tomato season right now, so i based most of my ideas around an abundant supply of them. I’ve been really interested in making chunky tomato sauce and various kinds of salsa. I found a few ideas to try and went to the farmer’s market to see what was available.

I had some colorfully pungent heirloom purple garlic a friend brought me from Olympia, Washington, plus some chilis and fresh herbs from my own garden that i wanted to use. These, together with my farmer’s market bounty, provided a solid week of chopping, peeling, straining, simmering, and — finally — sealing into jars.

End results: Over 100 jars of delicious winter preserves, from green to gold to bright crimson. I made broccoli soup, tomato soup, chunky tomato sauce, golden tomato sauce, corn-zucchini salsa, and tomatillo salsa. More than i’ll probably be able to eat… lucky for my friends!