Freezer Meals Soup Edition

soup ingredientsI seriously love soup!  Even though it’s in the upper 80’s/lower 90’s I still love eating soup.  Each time I’ve made a round of freezer meals I’ve noticed that I usually eat the soup first.  I figured with all of the delicious produce available this time of year it would be a good time to stock up the freezer for fall.  Nothing says comfort like a delicious bowl of tomato soup or minestrone with grilled cheese.  Since I live in Iowa it only makes sense that I also try out various corn chowder recipes since fresh sweet corn is available any place you look, including parking lots at convenience stores.  So step by step here is what I did.  I haven’t found any posts yet on someone doing only soups so this might be unique enough to get your attention.  Or you might just think I’m crazy, at any rate thanks for stopping by my page!

You’ll also note the TV in the background.  I love my island because while I was prepping most of the soups I watched Christmas movies to get me in the mood.  Thank you Hallmark Channel for the marathon all weekend!

I have an entire board of soups on Pinterest.  I belong to the crowd that frequently makes items that I pin so I started making my way through all of the recipes that I want to try right away.  I then found I had to limit myself because I don’t have a deep freezer and 20 different soups were not going to fit in the freezer I do have.  So I settled on 13 different recipes because that’s what I usually make when I do meals.  All of my empty containers fit in the freezer so I figured I was good to go.  That was mistake number one.  I underestimated how much soup each recipe would make and ended up with more than I planned.  Even with all of the organizing I did I ended up breaking down and buying a small dorm sized freezer.  I also had to purchase more containers.  However, since I do this multiple times per year it was worth it.

soup in freezer

Not smart planning, there are still four soups to fit in here and they will be at least 10 cups each.

Here are links to the recipes that I used.  I underestimated how much they would make so I have that information for you as well.

Olive Garden Pasta e Fagoli-10 cups

Olive Garden Minestrone-14 cups

White Chicken Lasagna-13 cups

Creamy Tomato Tortellini-13 cups

Pepper Jack Chicken Fajita-12 cups

Corn and Zucchini Chowder-9 cups

Summer Corn Chowder-9 cups

Corn Chowder with Shrimp-9 cups

Crab Bisque-12 cups

Rustic Lobster Bisque-7 cups

Chicken Detox-11 cups (I added extra ingredients so this one made more)

Beef, Tomato, and Macaroni-12 cups

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato-6 cups

I use Rubbermaid and Ziplock containers which have the cup markings on them.  Now that I have a better idea of how much these make I can estimate better 🙂

After I decided which recipes to make I sat down and made my shopping list.  I do up one big list with all of the ingredients and then double check what I have on hand.  Since I do meal prep frequently I stock up when items go on sale.  I then divided my list into sections in the grocery store and began watching for the non-perishable items to go on sale.

The photo at the top of the page is all of the ingredients minus the dairy and meat, only because I couldn’t fit them in the space 🙂

I then sketched out a basic plan of which soups to make on which days.  Since I planned on making everything ahead of time I knew that I couldn’t do it all in one day.  I also only have one large pot so a couple of the soups that could be made in a smaller pan or the crockpot were paired with the soups that needed the larger pot.

soup recipes

I’m a super messy cook so I always write out cards instead of using my phone for the recipes.  I also like to make notes on veggies or seasoning that I want to add.

As my usual routine I began purchasing items and when I knew I was ready to begin cooking I bought the rest of the items and perishable items.  Before laying anything out on my island I made sure to wipe it down with a Clorox wipe.  I don’t use these on a regular basis, but feel it’s a good thing to do before and after every large prep session to make sure I get anything lurking around off the surface.

I then got out my prep bowls and started cutting veggies for the first day of soup.  I highly recommend a food chopper if you are planning to do this on a regular basis.  It chops an onion with a simple press of a button, it saves so much time!

I was only planning on making three soups the first day but ended up making five.  I found that if I let the soup cool down on the stove and then place in containers and cool the rest of the way I can prep for my next recipes, wash the pan, and then begin the next soup.  I always taste test my creations, especially if it is the first time I am making a recipe, so I had small portions of each soup to make sure it tasted ok and didn’t need anything added.  I can safely say that I liked all of the soups.  I didn’t measure out the seasoning, I eyeballed it because I’m familiar enough with my own tastes to know how much to sprinkle in the pot.

Two soups cooking at one time

As with any project, each container was labeled with masking tape and written on with a Sharpie.

soup portioning

soup labeling

After some trial and error I am more than likely going to be doing this again.  Though it would be a lot more fun with someone than by myself 🙂


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