5 Big-Batch Soups That Are Perfect for Stocking Your Freezer
Plus, a few things to know about storing them.
Whether you’re craving some cozy comfort on a snowy day or need an easy meal because you’ve got a case of the sniffles, there’s no better choice than a warming bowl of homemade soup. But, what do you do when cooking from scratch isn’t an option? With a little planning, you can simply reach in your freezer!
Stocking your freezer with soups may seem like a big task but it’s surprisingly simple to do. Just make a big batch on the weekend, let the soup cool completely and then tuck it away in your freezer. Most soups are freezer-friendly as long as you store them correctly.
When it comes to tucking them away in your freezer, less is more — meaning that it’s better to save the soup as several small portions than it is to freeze the whole batch in one big container. If you don’t have the right size or shape containers for maximizing freezer space, you can pour the soup into several gallon zip-top bags. Freeze the bags flat on a sheet pan so that you have several thin, frozen packages that are easy to stack and store. (You can also vacuum-seal portions of soup and freeze the same way.)
So, which soups freeze best? Most soups work well although ones that include a starchy element (like rice or pasta) are better if you undercook that ingredient just a touch. That way, when you reheat the soup the rice or pasta will be perfectly cooked. If that feels too complicated, just go ahead and make the recipe as directed, cool and freeze — I promise, it will be fine. Your rice or pasta will be just a little bit softer.
One ingredient you should avoid when you’re freezing soups though, is potato chunks. They don’t reheat well. If your soup calls for chunks of potato you can omit them and cook them fresh when you’re ready to serve your soup. Or, simply stick to soups where the potatoes are pureed (like Ree’s Perfect Potato Soup, below).
Ready to give it a try? These five big-batch soups will help you get started.
Italian Wedding Soup (pictured above)
What could be better on a chilly night than sitting down to a hearty bowl of homemade soup, full of pasta and meatballs? Knowing that the soup is homemade, with wholesome, simple ingredients! With Ina’s big-batch recipe, you can cook up a pot of Italian wedding soup on the weekend and tuck it away in your freezer so that it’s ready whenever you need a quick family meal.
Ree’s creamy soup is packed with all the flavors of a loaded baked potato: cream, garlic, bacon and Cheddar cheese. Better yet, it makes 12 servings and is freezer-friendly. The trick to reheating this soup is to let it thaw in the refrigerator first. If you don’t have time for that you can reheat it from frozen — just be sure to add some extra water to the pot before you do.
Posole (or pozole) is a great choice when you need a hearty soup that can eat like a meal. It’s loaded with a satisfying combination of hominy and meat (in this case, chicken) and gets tons of flavor from a handful of ingredients like jalapeno peppers, garlic and cilantro. With this big-batch recipe it’s easy to cook once and store half in your freezer for another night.
This soup couldn’t be easier. With just five ingredients (plus some salt and pepper) and a few minutes of active cooking time you can put eight servings of soup away in your freezer for a chilly winter day.
Thought that it couldn’t get any better than a make-ahead meal that you can pull from your freezer whenever you want? It can! This one is healthy — and comes together with almost no work at all, thanks to a little help from your slow cooker. Win-win!