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Freezer Soup

December 9th, 2014

I’m a cook from scratch kind of person and I really hate producing food container waste. Thus I have all sorts of wide mouth pint mason jars in my freezer filled with all varieties of ingredients. When I’m cooking I often double or triple a recipe and freeze some. I do the same when preparing individual ingredients. Thus I can make a pot of delicious soup with ingredients from my freezer is only an hour and it will taste like it has been simmering all day!
Soup 1
Yesterday was the perfect soup day, but I was busy running errands and working until about four. No problem, I went to the basement freezer and came upstairs with: chorizo, black beans, red beans, green peppers, sweet corn, chicken stock, and spinach. I pulled onions, carrots, and garlic from the pantry along with a few spices and a soup was born. I love using wide mouth half pint mason jars for freezing because with only a minute or two submerged in warm water the contents will come out quite easily. They defrost quickly in a pan on the stove and are the ultimate homemade convenience food.
Soup 2
In about 30 minutes I had a delicious pot of soup, a big one to eat on all week for lunches. Some of it will probably end up back in wide mouth jars and in the freezer for when we need a bowl of soup in minutes. Best of all, it’s healthy, mostly homegrown, and best of all there was not one can or package that had to be thrown away!

What’s your favorite quick meal during the cooler winter months?

11 Comments to “Freezer Soup”
  1. kristin @ going country on December 9, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Well, this winter it’s going to be venison chili from our big freezer. My husband only shot one deer this year. He had to do the butchering by himself–thanks to the carpal tunnel in my hands from this pregnancy–and I was kind of half-joking when I suggested he cut it all up into stew meat to make chili. Chili is his favorite use for venison, so he did. One doe turned into two and a half gallons of chili.

    We like to eat it with rice, so I also cooked a really big pot of rice and froze that, too. This way, after this third child comes in the next couple of weeks and I find myself facing down dinner time with no time to actually cook, there’s pretty much ready-made food in the freezer.

    I suspect I might get kind of tired of chili by about February, but then, I’ll be tired in general, so who cares, right? :-)

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on December 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Susy, I mentioned before that I do some thing similar to your method but just more short term. When I cook, I make big batches for future use but put the left over in clean hot jars and screw the on the lids. As the contents cool, the jars will seal. They reside in the refrigerator until consumed. It’s a better way to store left overs and I don’t keep them more than three weeks that way. It’s my way of extending the shelf life of left overs without a whole lot of work. If I had the freezer space, your way would be even better. One of the best things about winter is the soup. I like soup in the summer too, but there’s just some thing about eating soup during the cold months that makes it taste even better, don’t you think?

    Have a great soup day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. Natalie on December 9, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I’m too afraid to use glass in the freezer (even with reading all the tips and tricks I’ve read about). Maybe I’ll try that when my kids aren’t toddlers anymore.

    Reply to Natalie's comment

    • GretchenNC on December 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      I unfortunately agree. I really want to freeze in glass but every time I don’t it they have cracked and I lose everything I made. It has happened so many times that I stopped freezing in glass.

      Reply to GretchenNC's comment

      • Susy on December 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        I wonder why, I have never had a glass jar break or crack in the freezer.

        to Susy's comment

  4. JJ on December 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    This is the same approach I take with soup and stocks — I love taking advantage of the freezer to stash the components of future meals. I will make soup often during the winter, but will turn the same components (greens cooked with garlic, carmelized leeks and onions) into a hearty pasta sauce too.

    Reply to JJ's comment

  5. Tony on December 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Cook once, eat twice! I always make extra soup/chili/stew to freeze. If it’s a soup that has potatoes, I will often split out what we will eat fresh and put the potatoes in that but leave the freezer portion without potatoes because we don’t care for the texture once they’ve been frozen. You can always add when you’re re-heating. I prepare taxes, so February through April is a crazy time for me but I still want to eat well. I freeze individual portions in wide mouth half pint mason jars and all I have to do is put one in my bag in the morning, microwave it at lunch time (sorry Susy, I know you don’t use microwaves but they’re great at the office!) and I have a nice, hot cup of homemade soup for lunch. So much healthier, cheaper and tastier than the take-out that my co-workers often get.

    Reply to Tony's comment

  6. aruna on December 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I tried to freeze some chicken stock but my quart size mason jars cracked when they were put in the freezer. The chicken stock was actually refrigerated for a day and then put in the freezer so it was not hot. The jars were kind of old as they were given to me by someone, I am not sure why they cracked and now I nervous about freezing any more mason jars. Any idea why that would have happened.

    Reply to aruna's comment

    • Karen on December 13, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      I have the same problem with the jars cracking. I put them in the freezer with plenty of headspace and leave the caps off just in case. This last batch of stock every single jar came out of the freezer cracked. There’s nothing as disheartening as going to make supper and pulling out jar after jar and having to throw all that stock away.
      Could it be freezer temp? The jars?

      Reply to Karen's comment

  7. Marvel on December 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I usually resort to a what-ever’s-at-hand potato dish, “colcannon” by name. Just peel, chop & boil up a few potatoes (there’ll be dozens in cool-storage in the garage until ’round April); While they’re boiling, fry a few ounces of fatty meat (faves include baon or sweet/hot Italian sausage), then toss in & saute whatever fresh/chopped up veggies you’ve got on hand (hereabouts, that usually includes cabbage, kale, spinach, carrots, onions.) Add a little stock, salt & pepper & red pepper flakes, cover & heat until veggies are done. When all’s cooked, mash the ‘taters and dump the vegetables in — YUM!

    Reply to Marvel's comment

  8. Amy on December 9, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    In the summer I made many batches of fresh okra cooked with onions, peppers and tomatoes then covered with just enough chicken stock to fill the container. I use them as a base for soup and stew.

    Reply to Amy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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