Freezer Meals: Soup Round 4

I’m still fine tuning the process!  This round I had to plan during a pandemic where there are some shortages.  To minimize my trips to the store (typically I hit three in one day) and to account for some items being high in demand right now I first checked what I had on hand.  Seems basic, but I actually don’t do that very often.  Meat prices were starting to even out at the time of making, but with the spike in prices a couple of months prior I decided to go with a few more vegetarian options just in case.

I was a bit smarter this round and put some of the thicker soups into quart freezer bags to allow for more space in the freezer.  This is the first round of soup that I didn’t run out of space, so I’m guessing that’s the magical answer 🙂

Here’s the list:

Winter Country

Italian Lentil

Lentil Tortilla

Zuppa

Chicken Detox (pictured at the top of this post)

Couscous Chicken

Italian Sausage Tortellini

Pasta e Fagoli

Chicken Fajita

Stuffed Green Pepper

I also made a sausage lentil soup that I found in a cookbook.  I wasn’t able to find a duplicate recipe online for a link, but there are plenty of similar soups out there that resemble this recipe.  I discovered this past year that I like lentils if they are cooked right and that they go well in soup.  They were easy to find a more affordable than some of the meat options.  One small bag made three different soups!  It’s something I recommend as a cost saving option.  Lentils are full of protein and fill you up.  One cup of lentils will make 8-12 cups of soup, or 4-6 meals.  This lentil tortilla was easy to make in the crockpot and will be a great compliment to Mexican inspired meals or on its own.  It tastes better than it looks, trust me.

2020 lentil tortilla

This year I had about 2 pounds of deer summer sausage that my brother had given me.  I sliced it up and cooked it in a frying pan to get out some of the fat and used that in the winter country and sausage lentil soups.  The flavor was amazing!  The majority of the soups I make are hearty enough to eat as a meal and this one is no exception.  It’s packed with protein and the greens give it a healthy touch.

2020 taste of home winter country

Trying to plan during shortages and left me making a few substitutions and a bit of a different planning process for getting ingredients, but I was still able to make everything and since I used more vegetarian recipes and meat I already had on hand I spent less than $100 for this round!  The local farm didn’t have the greens I needed, so I substituted dinosaur kale.  I cooked it with some garlic and olive oil and it added a good flavor to the soup.  It’s not as bitter as regular kale and has just a hint of sweetness to it.  It makes a great substitute for spinach, greens, or regular curly kale.

2020 ingredients

I frequently get asked what my favorite soup is.  It’s difficult to pick one favorite, but the Italian sausage tortellini with kale is definitely in my top five picks.  It’s amazing in the fall when the weather starts getting crisp and warms you up on those cold winter nights.  I make mine pretty thick and there isn’t a lot of tortellini in the recipe so I typically pair it with garlic bread.

2020 italian sausage tortellini

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