Meal Prep Tip #5 - Prepare Multiple Soups and Freeze
It's cooling down with a little chill on some nights although I think the weather is still trying to eek out a few more days in the 80s here in the Midwest. I am so ready for cooler weather, I can feel it! At our house, we've already had a few soups to sample and I've made some for clients. I love cooking a few soups at the same time, especially if they have similar bases. It makes for easy prep and I can either store in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how long they will last.
One day I decided to take on a Rustic Gazpacho, Chicken Corn Chowder and Potato Leek. Even though Potato Leek has a separate base, it's easy - favorite oil or butter and leeks!
Here's how I did it and the recipe for the Corn Chowder below. I've given instructions and variations for vegetarian/vegan and omnivore.
1. Chop similar base ingredients and any other ingredients before heating oil in pan. That way you know you're ready when the pan and oil are heated. I check out the whole recipe before I start so I know exact measurements. I also have two bowls available to separate base ingredients so they're easy to put in pan.
2. Have 2-3 stations for other ingredients separated. That way, the right ingredients go in the right pans. (Believe me, I've had the wrong ingredients go in the wrong pan. That becomes a new dish!) I usually set them up on each side of the stove by the pan.
3. Work slowly. This is not a race (I have to remind myself of this almost daily). It takes a little extra time, but in the long run, you have three great soups for the week.
4. Let cool before transferring to jars, refrigerating or freezing. The soup will cook faster in your pans than in the jars. Another thing I've tested. Plus, getting hot soup on your hand sucks. Again, another thing I've tested. And I had the burn to prove it.
5. To freeze, use new, clean Ball or Kerr brand jars. I've had jars that I bought at an estate sale pop in my freezer because they were made years ago with thinner glass. If you are freezing or saving for the family, a quart or half gallon works great. For individual servings, a 12 oz or pint jar is great!
6. Use a large mouth funnel if you have one. It really saves on clean up! I have a set of funnels that included on with a 3" opening and I love it. Leave an inch or two at top of jar for expansion. See note about glass popping in freezer.
Hearty Chicken Corn Chowder
from the kitchen of Healthy Decadence
3 T. olive oil, butter or ghee
1/2 red pepper
3 1/3 c. corn
3 c. magic mineral or chicken bone broth
2 c. cooked chicken, shredded (optional)
2 cups baby super greens
2 medium Yukon or red potatoes
1/2 c fire roasted hatch or shishito peppers
1/2 t salt
1/2 garlic powder
Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Avocado, diced (optional)
1. Heat oil in stock pot on medium.
2. Add pepper, onion, garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
3. Add corn and potatoes and stir for another 2 minutes.
4. Pour in broth, chicken (if using), tomatoes, spiced and salt. Cover.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook until vegetables are firm, but tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Top with cilantro and avocado before serving.