Bestern Southwestern Chicken Soup

I’m in the process of a looooooonnnnggg move.  Okay, it’s not quite cross country but still a 7 hour drive.

So I am trying to use up the contents of my freezer and my garden in order to allow it to travel better. Also, if you think about it, I’m moving my canning jars anyway, so I might as well move them full of good food!

This is a meal in a jar – Bestern Southwestern Soup! In the spirit of moving my food in jars, I was able to use corn and chicken from the freezer, and tomatoes and peppers from my garden.


When making soups, I recommend layering the ingredients.  I don’t always precook the ingredients together because they will meld in the pressure cooker and while they are on the shelf awaiting your consumption.  The reason for layering the ingredients is so that you get a somewhat equal amount of each item in your soup.  Otherwise you run the risk of having a jar of really chunky meaty soup and a jar of mostly broth.

Bestern Southwestern Chicken Soup


  • 3 cups of shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 cans of diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 3 cups of black beans, rinsed and sorted
  • 2 cans of organic whole kernel corn or 2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large stock pot, stir together tomatoes, broth, chili powder, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. 
  2. Bring this mixture to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile layer the other ingredients evenly in your sanitized jars. Top your layered ingredients with your hot broth mixture, leaving one inch of headspace.  If you run out of broth, it’s fine to top up your jars with a bit of water, as the flavors will have plenty of time to blend.

(Time-saving note: your dried beans will cook in the pressure canner – no need to cook them ahead of time!)

4. Lid your jars and process in a pressure canner for 90 minutes at 10-12 pounds of pressure.   Be sure to adjust for altitude.


Serve your delicious soup topped with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and some crumbled tortilla chips!

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3 Comments  to  Bestern Southwestern Chicken Soup

  1. GoatLady says:

    Just put 8 jars of your Split Pea soup recipe in the canner. Would like to try this SW Chicken soup next but have a couple of questions. First, how may quarts are you making in the recipe? Second, are the tomatoes in 14 oz. cans? Plan to make this when I butcher that last huge rooster out there!
    Do you think it would be OK to use the chicken raw? Thanks.

    • Daisy says:

      I believe this was 4 quarts total. And yes, the tomatoes are in 14 oz cans (had to convert, as they are in milliliters here) You could absolutely use the chicken raw. The only reason I cooked it ahead of time is because I was making a large batch of chicken and threw in some extra for canning. If you’re making it with raw chicken, you won’t need to worry about cutting it up as long as it fits in the jars. You’ll easily be able to shred it with a fork at serving time.

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