Tonight we’re having “Freezer Soup” for dinner. But don’t tell anyone in my family – they think we’re having “Mom’s Homemade Vegetable Soup.”
The two are similar except for one key difference – “Freezer Soup” allows me to grab real food ingredients I’ve been saving in my freezer for several weeks, add a few things from my refrigerator and pantry, and throw everything into the Crockpot – which does all the work while I go about my busy day.
Here’s the trick that sets me up to make this soup quickly, easily and cheaply – I collect small bits of leftover beef, beef broth and vegetables in the freezer over several weeks. (I also collect leftover chicken and broth for chicken soup.)
Sometimes when I’m chopping vegetables, I’ll chop extra and throw it in the freezer for soup. Once I’ve accumulated a small stash, it’s time to make Freezer Soup. I pull everything out of the freezer before going to bed and put it in the refrigerator; in the morning, it’s thawed and ready for the Crockpot.
Here’s what went into today’s soup:
- From the freezer – half a grilled steak (cut up), leftover Spicy Italian beef and broth, beef stock, frozen mixed vegetables, part of a bag of shredded cabbage
- From the refrigerator – baby carrots and chopped celery and onion I prepped earlier in the week
- From the pantry – canned diced tomatoes, beef broth
This soup will be yummy tonight (with some homemade cornbread!) and even better for lunch tomorrow. It’s one of my favorite strategies for serving my family real food without blowing up my grocery budget.
Do you have a favorite trick for eating real food while managing your time and money? Please share it in the Comments; I would love to hear from you.
Photo credit – © stevem – Fotolia