There is nothing quite like a delicious soup to warm you up over the winter. The first snow is always chili night at our house, and we enjoy various other soups throughout the winter.
Making soups ahead of time is an easy way to have a hot meal ready on a cold night or to have a filler meal at your finger tips for those busy evenings. Some preparation and cooking now will serve your family well over the winter. The steps below will help you freeze your favorite soups to enjoy all season long.
1. Select which soup or soups you will make, and prepare them as directed. Decide if you want to double the recipes. This will allow for you to have even more meals prepared for winter, but be sure to consider if you have sufficient containers and freezer space to hold all of the soup. Also, if there is a slow cooker version of soup recipes you want to prepare, feel free to prepare them this way. Slow cooker soups tend to be even easier and more self-sufficient than cooking soups over the stove which will save you time now, too.
2. When the soups are finished, pour portion sizes that work for your family into freezer containers. Wait for the soup to cool slightly and then pour it into the containers you will freeze it in. Consider having multiple sets of food storage containers so you can use one exclusively for freezing extra meals made ahead of time and still have another set for temporary storage of leftovers or for transporting food in packed lunches. If you do not have freezable containers, you can also use Ziploc bags. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to thaw them inside a bowl when they are removed from the freezer later on to catch possible spills. Know what portion sizes your family needs, and put that amount into each container. I typically use some containers that will be sufficient for one meal for the entire family and some individual portions.
3. Label packaged portions before freezing. On your containers or bags of soup, label each one with the type of soup, the number of portions it containers, and the date it was prepared. This will allow you to know what you are thawing and make it easy to know which container to thaw based on that meal’s portion needs. The date allows you to use soups in order of when they were prepared to avoid waste. I use something as simple as a sticky note to label my containers so they stick on but don’t add a sticky layer to the lids when removed. For bags, simply write on them with a permanent marker.
4. Organize containers in the freezer and enjoy yummy soup all winter long. Place containers in order in the freezer with oldest containers up front so they are used first. If space allows, organize containers by size, too, so it is easy to see what is available. Now you can sit back and let the freezer do the work for you. Soups can take a couple days to thaw in the refrigerator so simply plan when you will need them and transfer soup from the freezer to the refrigerator a few days ahead of time. Heat them over the stove or in the microwave when meal time comes and enjoy!
What soups are your favorites? Would you consider sharing a recipe with the rest of us in the comment section? We would love to hear from you!