|Gluten Free Noodles do not can. Just a note to self.|
Secondly, I currently do break the rules a bit when I can chicken noodle soup as the FDA says that if you keep your canned soups with noodles at 90 degrees for 17 bazillion years you could possibly, maybe, potentially someday make bacteria. Since I keep my soups on average of six months or less before I eat them, make sure they are kept in a nice cool spot and check for any weirdness in the jars (odors, bad seals, etc.), I'm just plain going to continue to break the rules a bit. If you are worried about it though just can without the noodles, cook the noodles to al dante in another pan (al dante is when you bit into a noodle and it's not crunchy, but just a little past it so the noodle is like perfect :) and freeze them in portions you'd want to add to your soup and just add the noodles into the soup when you are reheating it. The reheating process (via microwave or other vessel) will heat up the noodles at the same time and really you won't be losing any time unless you lose your noodles in your freezer. I'm going to be doing this from now on with the gluten free noodles...once I get through 6 cans of monster noodles and chicken *laugh*.
The canned soups, if you choose to live dangerously and include the noodles, will get the noodles mushy over time using this method, but after watching a thing on Campbells I did figure out that if you add your raw noodles to the soup RIGHT before you put it into the jars the canner will do the cooking of the noodles for you (well...except with the gluten free noodles I guess...the "do not overcook" warning on the box will deter me from now on ;) and will stop them from turning into absolute mush. Anyway, here's my basic recipe for chicken noodle soup...
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
- About 1 to 1 1/2 cups left over chicken meat (or about 4 boneless thighs cut up)
- 6 to 8 cups chicken broth/stock (I used home made for this batch)
- 2 carrots cut up
- 2 celery stalks cut up
- 1 small onion chopped up (or just a medium sized handful of frozen diced onions)
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoon grill seasoning of choice (I like Montreal Chicken by McCormick)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 cup uncooked elbow noodles (if using)
Throw everything, with the exception of the noodles, into a crock pot and set on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours and then taste. Add salt to slightly LESS salty than you like it (remember it's going to continue to cook in the canner and if you don't want a salt lick it would be a good idea to do this...trust me I've found this out the hard way) and keep on low until ready to can.
If doing this on the cook top, I'd cook your chicken first and then set it aside (just saute it in some oil to get it cooked) and then put it aside while everything else cooks so it doesn't get rubbery. Thinly slice up your carrot and celery and add them to a big stock pot, along with your onion and some oil and cook over medium-high heat stirring frequently until the onions have a nice translucent quality to them. Then add your chicken broth/stock and add your chicken back into the mix. I also like to add about a cup or two of water, depending how long you're going to let it simmer, so that it doesn't get too concentrated. BEFORE you add your water add your seasonings and taste your broth. Add salt till slightly LESS salty than you normally like it and then add your water (so you have a benchmark on what you want your broth to taste like once the water evaporates off in the cooking process). This is usually when I go and make dinner, get the kitchen cleaned up, get the canner and jars ready to go and just let the soup simmer away the entire time. When you're ready to get canning, add your noodles (I usually add about 1/2 cup of noodles per batch because they do expand) and quickly taste the soup and do any last minute alterations on seasonings.
Once you're ready to can follow the pre-canning steps in The Ginger Syrup Post. Now it's time to get your soup into jars as soon as possible and place in your canner. Can according to your canners directions for soups and stews (mine calls for 11 lbs of pressure for 20 minutes for pints or 25 minutes for quarts). Once your canner is done doing it's voodoo and the pressure is down to zilch, remove your jars to a towel and let cool. Test your seals and any that didn't seal stick immediately into fridge to use ASAP.
If you can with the noodles in the jars be sure to stick in a cool place (not 90 degrees) and use within 6 months (or your noodles might get REALLY mushy).
Honestly after this last debacle on the noodles going insane when cooking I think next time I'm going to make chicken and wild rice soup (totally fine by the FDA to can) because after already eating 2 jars of chicken and noodles I'm sort of in the mood for chicken SOUP *laugh*.
EDIT: Wow, this post has been viewed a lot on Pinterest. Never realized that until I just checked it. I just wanted to pass along some information I've learned over the years now that I've been canning a lot more since I posted this recipe a long while ago.
For one, there is still great debate on the canning of noodles in soups and stews. Main reason for this is because the noodles add viscosity to the soup or stew, which can in turn mess with the acidity level of the finished product. So, if you want to can soups and/or stews with noodles in them I'd at least add 1 tsp. of lemon juice or some other acid to your jars. BUT I am by no means a canning expert, so please don't assume that I am! I've canned many things only to find out that I'd canned things wrong later on and honestly I STILL can things that aren't guide lined...mainly because I make up my own recipes all the time. But, I did invest in some acid testing strips for when I can to make sure that a recipe is safe for long term storage and learned how to do that from a friend of mine who sells things commercially, so I guess my circumstances are a bit different.
After much canning throughout the years I've found a few things I wanted to pass along. For one, it is recommended that you can your soups and stews via the time and pressure recommended for your lowest acidic ingredient. So, generally this means you end up canning a soup or stew 70 minutes or more, which in turn lends any noodle to gruel by the time it comes out of the canner...it also explains why even noodle soups you find in the store are...well...not that great of quality (least compared to home made). You could skip this and you might not ever get sick, but at the same time it is recommended by the Ball to do it this way, and since they've been canning a LOT longer than I have, I wanted to pass that along.
Also, after canning a lot, I've also come to the conclusion that canning noodle soups just isn't something I get behind anymore now that I'm no longer a canning "newbie". Oddly enough it's just because I have found that if you can stock, veggies and so forth separately and then just add them to a pot with some el dante pasta the soup cooks up super quick and lends a MUCH better quality soup than putting the soup together and then canning it. So, when people e-mail me about this post that is what I recommend doing as honestly it's worth the small addition of time and effort to get a much better quality soup out of the deal.
Disclaimer: I am by no means a canning professional and I promote the idea that you are your best judge. Make the recipes on this site at your own risk and if you do not think a recipe is safe to can, don't can it! It's best to trust your instincts.