My day is lining up to be a pretty busy one since I’m working on using up our latest pickings from our garden to prepare a dozen or so soups to make weeknight meals healthy, cost effective and a breeze. I’ve managed to put away dozens of bags of parboiled green beans, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, corn and greens but now plan to use whatever produce we’re blessed with to prepare soups for the upcoming fall months!
Hearty soups are really our go to meals of choice starting in the autumn. Not only are they delicious and nutritious but they can generally be made ahead of time and frozen which makes weeknight meals a no brainer.
Sure, it takes time to prepare large batches of soup but having them ready and waiting to eat for lunches or dinners is very much worth the effort. We actually started doing this years ago when we slashed our grocery budget and have kept up with it ever since.
One fall I decided to make 12 different soups (yes 12!) over the course of one weekend and freeze it all to have quick easy meals on hand. It turned out to be such an incredibly great way to meal plan, save money and always have good food handy that I’ve made it a seasonal tradition to use some of our garden veggies to make large quantities of soup which will last us well into the cold harsh winter months. Paired with some garlic bread, soups are really some of our favorite comfort foods!
This post is divided in 3 folks. The first set of recipes are all for traditional stove top soups (my preference actually) followed by crock pot soup recipes and finally soup storage ideas at the very bottom.
I tend to stick to stove top because I often double or even triple the recipes to increase the volume of soup I make. I’m really of the mindset that if I’m going to put in the work I want to get as much possible product out of my efforts so I tend to stick to stove top and use an enormous stock pot to accommodate the portions I’m cooking since my crock pot really isn’t very big!
Traditional Stove Top Soups
Photo Cred: Hungarian Mushroom Soup from Platings & Pairings
Photo Cred: Loaded Potato Soup via Butter Your Biscuit
Easy Crock Pot Soups
Freezing and long term storage ideas
Use good quality airtight freezer bags
I tend to freeze most our soup in large freezer bags (which I wash and reuse). I put the soup in the air tight bag, lay it on a cookie sheet and allow it to freeze for a few hours. I then stack my frozen soups in the freezer. This is a great way to freeze large quantities and minimize the amount of space it takes up in your freezer. It also makes last minute defrosting easy since these handy bags defrost in no time at all!
Photo Cred: Simply Recipes
Freeze single portions
When it comes to single portions I either use small Tupperware or small zip lock bags. This makes pulling out a quick lunch or solo-dinner meal a breeze. It also prevents us from eating out unnecessarily because we’ve always got food ready and waiting in our freezer!
Label and date your bags with washable marker
I label each ziplock with the name of the soup and the date it was made so that we can eat oldest to newest and prevent waste. Using washable marker allows me to wash and reuse the bags when I prepare more soups!