Vegetable soup is bright, colorful, and loaded with nutrients. Oftentimes we buy vegetables with the best intention of eating them throughout the week. But sometimes sitting in the refrigerator they often go out of sight, out of mind. Soups are an excellent way to utilize vegetables, even if they’ve gone a little soft and ugly. Depending on the season you can use fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (or a variety) to create this classic comfort food. Customize with whole grains and protein for a one-pot meal.
Go one step further and create your own vegetable stock. Stocks are the backbone to many recipes like soups and sauces, and adding flavor to foods like grains (rice, risotto, quinoa) and comfort foods (mashed potatoes, casseroles, pot pies). Veggie scraps (heels and leaves, too!) best for stock are celery, onions, carrots, fennel, chard, lettuce, spinach, parsnips, squash, green beans, bell peppers, eggplants, asparagus, tomato, mushroom, leeks, potatoes, and herbs.
How to freeze soup
1. Cool. Soups should be chilled quickly. Speed up this process by placing the pot of soup in an ice bath in the sink. Stir occasionally to help release the heat.
2. Package. Label and date freezer-safe plastic bags, place in a bowl, and cuff bag over the edge. Ladle soup into bag and let out any excess air and seal.
For individual servings, ladle portions in a cupcake pan and freeze. Once frozen, pop them out and place in freezer safe bag for future use.
3. Freeze. Lay bags flat in a single layer in the freezer; when frozen, stack bags to save space.
4. Reheat. Thaw overnight in fridge. Reheat to 165’F.
Soup will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If seafood is added it should be used within 3 days. Soup will last in the freezer 3 months.
Harvest Vegetable Soup recipe
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil or other
- 5 cups vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, celery, carrots, corn, onion, mushrooms, green beans, asparagus)
- Garlic clove, minced
- 1 bunch leafy veg: Kale, spinach, cabbage, collards, chard,
- 4 cups stock or broth
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Seasoning such as thyme, oregano, sage, Italian spice, to taste
- Optional: Protein: Leftover animal protein (chicken, beef, etc.) Canned beans like cannellini beans, white beans, chick peas, kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- Optional: Serve topped with cheese
- Optional: Add grains like brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, noodles, etc.
- Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add vegetable (excluding leafy greens), garlic and spices.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender. Add broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil.
- Add protein and green leafy greens. Cook until leafy veg is wilted.
- Add prepared grain
- Top with cheese if desired