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Soup! Making soups for serving later


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I can't imagine my problem is unique. I want to make homemade soups. In fact, I love homemade soups. The biggest problem is that to make soups, I end up making 87 quarts of the stuff and it takes a month and a half to get through it all. Not that it's a problem, it's just that it goes bad before I get to eat it. So, solution: freeze it.

And here's the question: HOW? I'd prefer to store it in individual servings, so I can just take it out and take it to work. But, it needs to be stored in something that won't leak. I don't have a ton of room in my freezer, so 100 mason jars probably isn't a good idea.

Any suggestions?

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Make stock Skim. Let get cold and remove fat. Clarify if you want.

Reduce mightly to demi-glace or even glace.

Put up in ice cube trays. Leave to set.

The stuff has so much salt etc in it it will keep forever int he fridge in a plastic bag.

To make soup take out a cube and disoolve in hot water, add garnishes.

Also handy for enriching a stew, or gravy

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those ziploc or glad disposable containers are good for this, with the caveat that you can't fill them too full or the freezing expansion will push the lid off.

or, you could buy boxes of quart freezer bags, put single servings in them, and then freeze them flat. once they're frozen you can stand them up like books in a bookshelf, and they take up hardly any room.

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I can't imagine my problem is unique. I want to make homemade soups. In fact, I love homemade soups. The biggest problem is that to make soups, I end up making 87 quarts of the stuff and it takes a month and a half to get through it all. Not that it's a problem, it's just that it goes bad before I get to eat it. So, solution: freeze it.

And here's the question: HOW? I'd prefer to store it in individual servings, so I can just take it out and take it to work. But, it needs to be stored in something that won't leak. I don't have a ton of room in my freezer, so 100 mason jars probably isn't a good idea.

Any suggestions?

The company GLAD make brilliant storage container designs. I've purchased some in small square-ish shapes that are perfect for lunches. I've used them for soups and stews and they work from freezer to microwave. They don't leak. They have lids.

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The company GLAD make brilliant storage container designs. I've purchased some in small square-ish shapes that are perfect for lunches. I've used them for soups and stews and they work from freezer to microwave. They don't leak. They have lids.

I'm a little leary about some of the GLAD stuff. I love them for sandwiches and stuff that doesn't leak, but I'm afraid that my soup will end up all over the inside of lunch box if it gets knocked around and turned sideways and upside down. Though a ziplock freezer bag INSIDE of a GLAD container is not a bad idea ....

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The company GLAD make brilliant storage container designs. I've purchased some in small square-ish shapes that are perfect for lunches. I've used them for soups and stews and they work from freezer to microwave. They don't leak. They have lids.

I'm a little leary about some of the GLAD stuff. I love them for sandwiches and stuff that doesn't leak, but I'm afraid that my soup will end up all over the inside of lunch box if it gets knocked around and turned sideways and upside down. Though a ziplock freezer bag INSIDE of a GLAD container is not a bad idea ....

the seal is pretty solid when they're new; it's as they get older that they get leakier and weaker, which is i guess why they're disposable. but for your purposes, of freezing then taking to work frozen... i mean, they wouldn't thaw just in the commute, would they?

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For me, the most efficient way is to freeze soup in ziplock bags flat on a sheet pan til solid. I use different sized bags depending on it's later use and freeze in 1, 2, or 4 cup amounts. Then, so I do not have a gazillion little bags slipping out of the freezer onto my feet, I collect all the chicken stock bags into 1-2 large bags, all the beef into another, etc. They can be filed vertically in tubs that you can simply pull out of the freezer to sort through to find what you want. It's a little like storing books in a library, though I don't use a dewey decimal system. :hmmm:

There are lots of advantages for me in this system: conserves space, ease of finding what I've frozen away, reduces freezer burn as you can express almost all air from the bag, quicker to defrost than when frozen in blocks, and I can always break off a couple Tbs of the thinly frozen stock when I don't need a full cup.

If you're interested, I can give the minutia on the easiest way to freeze liquid flat.

And no, once it's frozen, it won't leak.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I agree with all the ziplock/plastic bag ideas. I freeze up to 2 L in plastic blags, on baking sheets and then into boxes in the freezer. To thaw, you want to place the bags in pot/bowl because they can leak on thawing - but not in the freezer.

If you have a restaurant wholesale / cash and carry in your area, you can pick up the 1/2 lb. or 1 lb. clear plastic containers that they use in restaurants for soup - inexpensive and stackable.

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I do the zipper bag routine for soup a lot. If I have reduced stock that might live in the freezer for a long time, I use small wide mouth canning jars so that the stock doesn't pick up flavors.

But the ultimate for storing soups and stews is the Reynolds brand deli containers that I get at the restaurant supply store. They cost about 10 cents apiece, the lids seal very well and you can reuse them. Back in the soup thread, Rachel pictured them here. My restaurant supply sells them in sleeves of 50. But, if I had to buy a case like Rachel, I would. You can get 8, 16, and 32 ounce sizes and all of the lids are the same. Brilliant.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I freeze soups all the time. I do it in the Glad or Ziploc containers, and pull them out of the freezer just before leaving for work. If I have something else (like a book) in my lunch bag that should be protected from moisture, I put the container inside a plastic bag. Upon arriving at work, I transfer the container either to the fridge, or to a spot under my desk where I won't accidentally kick it. Nuke it at lunchtime, and you have hot homeade soup. The FoodSaver idea is a good one, too, that I will probably start to employ, now that I own one. I am headed toward owning a LOT of these containers, and then having to store them as they are used and washed, and that is not a good thing. The vacuum bags would help with that.

I do make a lot of cream soups, and I don't add the cream until just before serving. The recipes usually call for about 2 tablespoons per bowl. If you can keep food in a refrigerator at work, you could store a carton of half and half, or a carton of sour cream to use to finish off the soup after you've heated it.

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I always freeze soups, sauces and stews in ziploc bags. In my experience, reusable plastic storage containers become brittle and crack easily when frozen. After breaking a few tops and containers this way, I usually try to avoid them for freezing duties.

I also wash my ziploc bags and reuse them, so I can keep a clear conscience.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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  • 1 year later...

Hi all,

I googled away, but couldn't seem to find an answer to this, so here goes:

What cold soups (savory or sweet) would be appropriate for freezing?

I ask because hubby and I are heading to Burning Man this year. I thought frozen cold soups would be a good option for light meals and snacks, since they could just thaw gradually in the cooler (and keep other things cool at the same time) and be able to be eaten/sipped right out of the vac seal bag by just clipping a corner, saving on clean up needs and not producing much trash. Plus they are quite refreshing, which will be welcome in the desert.

I was thinking watermelon soup or other puréed fruit soups, but I was also hoping potato/leek or borscht might freeze okay. My guess is that gazpacho types wouldn't freeze right (just turn to mush upon defrosting), but maybe I'm wrong?

Also does sour cream freeze okay? (For topping, if we do want to put it in a bowl.)

I've only ever frozen soups like broth, chili, bean soups.

Hoping to cook up some on Sunday, so would greatly appreciate any thoughts on the matter or past experiences with this.

PS--any other eGulleters going to Burning Man this year?

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I have frosen and eaten just about every soup known to man ...except gazpacho

some do look like a hopeless mess as they defrost but heat up fine

tracey

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I have inadvertently frozen gazpacho, and it thawed just fine. I'd think that anything pureed would that just fine.

Sour cream does not freeze well, however...but, on the other hand, if you want to add some tang, I know that if you freeze buttermilk, the "heavy stuff" in it freezes at the top (another inadvertent lesson).

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 5 months later...

I have recently had a family "situation" come up where my grandfather has been admitted to a physical rehab facility after his latest fall and it looks as though he may be there for a while. My grandmother, ever the doting type, spends a lot of time with him. When she eventually comes home, she is usually vary tired and the rest of the family is concerned that she may not be eating as well as she could be.

Last weekend, I floated the idea amongst the rest of my family of me preparing several kinds of soups, individually portioning them out, putting them in my deep freeze, and then delivering five or six different portions of soups that my grandmother can simply throw in the microwave to reheat whenever she wishes. My family really liked the idea and are all willing to split the costs associated with me doing this.

I've been doing research over the last couple of days and have been amazed at the variety of soup preparations that are out there.

So, now a couple of questions for the knowledgeable eG crowd.

Basically, you can classify soups into several categories:

* Cream/milk based soups

* Roux based soups

* Broth based with meat/meatballs/pasta

* Chili and Chili analogues

* Stews

Any advice on which freezes and thaws well? I guess the thing I'm concerned with is that the quality of the reheated soup is close to or as good as if I was making it fresh.

Second question goes to viability -- how long can she keep the frozen soups in the freezer without them going bad?

I'm thinking of using the Glad Ware disposable containers for convenience (straight from the freezer to the microwave). Any downsides to this thought?

Thanks!

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I have recently had a family "situation" come up where my grandfather has been admitted to a physical rehab facility after his latest fall and it looks as though he may be there for a while. My grandmother, ever the doting type, spends a lot of time with him. When she eventually comes home, she is usually vary tired and the rest of the family is concerned that she may not be eating as well as she could be.

Last weekend, I floated the idea amongst the rest of my family of me preparing several kinds of soups, individually portioning them out, putting them in my deep freeze, and then delivering five or six different portions of soups that my grandmother can simply throw in the microwave to reheat whenever she wishes. My family really liked the idea and are all willing to split the costs associated with me doing this.

I've been doing research over the last couple of days and have been amazed at the variety of soup preparations that are out there.

So, now a couple of questions for the knowledgeable eG crowd.

Basically, you can classify soups into several categories:

* Cream/milk based soups

* Roux based soups

* Broth based with meat/meatballs/pasta

* Chili and Chili analogues

* Stews

Any advice on which freezes and thaws well? I guess the thing I'm concerned with is that the quality of the reheated soup is close to or as good as if I was making it fresh.

Second question goes to viability -- how long can she keep the frozen soups in the freezer without them going bad?

I'm thinking of using the Glad Ware disposable containers for convenience (straight from the freezer to the microwave). Any downsides to this thought?

Thanks!

Tino,

You're missing the soup group that includes pretty much all the soups that I make. Puree based vegetable soups.

Soften mirepoix in a little oil in a pan (onions, leeks, celery and carrots - omit carrots for 'white' soups), add the veg that's the basis of the soup (e.g sweet potato, chestnuts and thyme, cauliflower or pretty much anything else), add a complementary stock (or water will be fine as you get so much flavour from the mirepoix etc), cook for a while, blitz, then check seasoning.

They're very healthy, extremely tasty and there's no dairy which could limit the longevity of the soup in the freezer.

Hope your Grandfather's recovering well.

S

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We do a lot of this at work. We make soups and freeze them in pint or quart deli containers. Some of the best ones are split pea, vegetable/beef/mushroom/bean and barley, pureed soups like carrot or sweet potato or rested bell pepper. Of course, chicken soup freezes well - the noodles aren't great, but rice or matzo balls freeze well.

As long as they're kept in a really good freezer, they will be fine for months.

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Chile, and similar soups also freeze very well and are very hardy especially for the winter months. Every winter we make chili and taco soup (we had the cheese and chips when defrosted) to freeze so that if we're in a hurry for a meal we can prepare it quickly. We freeze them for 3-4 months with no degradation in quality or flavor.

Also most broth based soups freeze very well. Soups that have whole vegetables or large pieces of them seem to experience some changes in texture when frozen.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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