Make ahead meals for the refrigerator or freezer are great time savers. Soup alone can be a great meal. Add a sandwich or salad, and most everyone is happy.
Soup! One of those cozy meal ideas for me. Whatever the season, I like soup! Making batches of soup ahead or making extra when preparing for a meal, can give you that make-ahead lunch or dinner from your freezer. Homemade is so much better than a can, and if you have containers in the freezer, they’re easy to pop out and heat for a quick meal. I’m posting several of my favorite soup recipes today. During this shutdown, I’m basically cooking for one all the time. Making a pot of soup and freezing individual containers has given me quick meals without having to start from scratch every day. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.
A Beautiful Blend of Root Veggies, Herbs and Spices One of my favorite soup recipes is Butternut Squash Soup. I seriously could have it at least once a week. Fresh ingredients and a Dutch Oven are always a combination for yumminess!
Butternut Squash Soup
6 slices bacon
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
3 carrots peeled and diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 large onion thick sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
-- use veggie stock for a vegetarian option.
1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
In a Dutch Oven, brown bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside. Drain all bacon drippings leaving about 1 Tablespoon in the pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook until just becoming tender. Add butternut squash, carrots, and 3 cups of stock. Bring all to a simmer over medium heat and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes.
Transfer soup from pot to blender. Add cayenne, salt and pepper if needed. You may need to work in batches of two or three depending on the size of your blender.) Blend until smooth. Be careful with the steam that may lift out from the centre of the lid.
Transfer soup into a pot and warm over medium heat to serve. (Check thickness and add remaining stock, if needed, to thin It out.)
Stir in the half and half or cream. Serve immediately.
Cooled leftover soup can be stored in air tight containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
A Hearty Potato Soup Never Disappoints
An inexpensive soup to make, Potato Soup has alwas been a favorite around my house. The key to this recipe for me is using Yupkn Gold Potaoes. They always seem to cook oerfectly for this soup. Add a few garnishes at the end, and its like a baked potato in soup form.
6 slices bacon, diced
3 tablespoons (reserved) bacon grease or butter
1 cup diced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 cups half n’ half warmed
1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
Optional Garnishes: thinly-sliced green onions or chives, extra shredded cheese, extra bacon, sour cream
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally. Transfer the bacon to a separate plate. Using a slotted spoon, reserving about 3 tablespoons of bacon grease in the stockpot. (Discard any extra grease, or you can substitute butter in place of the 3 tablespoons of bacon grease.)
Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir in the garlic and sauté for an extra 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender Stir the flour into the mixture and sauté for an additional 1 minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the stock until combined, followed by the potatoes.
Continue cooking until the mixture just reaches a simmer, before it begins to boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft, being sure to stir the soup every few minutes so that the bottom does not burn. Add half n’ half, stir until well combined.
Once the potatoes are nice and soft, stir in the cheddar cheese and sour cream, salt, pepper and cooked bacon bits. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve warm, garnished with desired toppings. Or, transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.
Parmesan Tomato Bisque
Parmesan Tomato Bisque Soup is another favorite of mine. I love to take left over sourdough bread and toast up some fresh croutons. An added bonus is to make Pimento Cheese and add a sandwich. With or without a sandwich, this recipe can stand on its own.
Parmesan Tomato Bisque
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 Vidalia or Sweet onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups Chicken Stock
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped
3 parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh basil leaves
1 bay leaf
½ cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Finely grated Parmesan
Sour Dough Croutons
Finely Chopped Parsley
Heat the butter in a large Dutch Oven medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel and set aside. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft about 8 – 10 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the basil, parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When the soup base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
Whisk the heavy cream, Parmesan Cheese, and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste.
Garnish with Sour Dough Croutons, Parmesan Cheese and a sprinkle of Parsley
Leftovers can be stored in air-tight containers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer Chicken Tortilla Soup
I’m always up for a little Tex-Mex and this soup is an easy way to accomplish it. Fresh ingredients and tortilla chips, what else could you need.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 jalapeños, finely diced
5 cups chicken stock
One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
One 14.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 limes, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Sharp Cheddar Cheese grated
In a large Dutch Oven heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions and cook until they begin to softened. Once the onions have softened add the garlic and jalapeños and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour the chicken broth, tomatoes and beans into the pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil lower heat to simmer and add the chicken breasts. Cook the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes. Once chicken is cooked through remove from pot. Set it aside to cool. When the chicken is cool enough, shred and return to opt. . Add cumin, lime juice and fresh cilantro to the pot. Ladle soup in a bowl and top with sour cream, cheese and tortilla strips.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to three days or freeze for up to three months in air-tight containers
I truly hope you get a chance to try these and enjoy them as much as I do. The cookbook will begin selling in July, and there is a whole chapter on soups. So grab your favorite pot and brew up some soup magic 🌿