This past weekend I spent my Saturday evening peeling nearly 40 pounds of carrots. Peel, peel, peel, chop, chop, chop, that's pretty much how things went. Why was I doing this? The answer is simple and it will save me hours worth of work over the coming winter.
Even though I keep a soup starter in my pantry, that doesn't mean I don't like to cook from scratch. But, like most of you I would imagine, I often have don't time to tackle the logistics of a full from-scratch meal on busy weeknights. Good food shouldn't be reserved for the weekends, so around our home, we do our best to do some of the prep work ahead of time.
Our stash of carrots was peeled, chopped and blanched to lock in color and taste and then frozen. Having a chest freezer in my kitchen is a luxury for sure, so I try to get the most use out of it. Even though it only takes a few minutes to peel and chop veggies for a soup, sometimes, those are minutes I don't have on weeknights.
This preparation will save me time down the road and it can do the same for you. Bagged frozen veggies are fine, but if there's something you love to use that you can't buy (or is extra expensive to purchase in such a manner), making your own doesn't take long. Especially if you cheat and use the food processor to do your dirty work for you.
You can freeze vegetable mixes, individual portions, stock, herbs, you name it, you can freeze it. It makes throwing things together in a crock pot in literal seconds possible or a meal from start to finish in 15 minutes obtainable.
Do you freeze soup basics ahead of time? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Check Out These Freezing Tips From The Kitchn Archives
• Weekend Project: Freezing Fresh Produce
• CSA Box Tip: Blanch & Freeze Winter Greens
• Make Summer Last: How to Freeze Peppers
• Kitchen Cure Tip: Save Wilted Vegetables For Stock
• How To: Freeze Zucchini
(Image: Flickr member ewines2 licensed for use by Creative Commons)