When it comes to soup, it's rather difficult to make the exact amount for your family (unless you have a family of 6 to 8). There are always leftovers, and although soup is usually just as delicious the next day, after day four you're really ready to be done with it for a little while. Freezing is the logical long-term storage method, but is there an easier way than putting it in one giant plastic tub? You bet!
Since my husband and I are the only two in our household, when we soup it up, there are always leftovers. We immediately freeze half the recipe and then finish off whatever is still in the fridge. It seems less intimidating that way, and there's a small victory dance when the last bit of bread soaks up the end of the broth.
In the months to come we can revisit the soup we have frozen or take it to work for lunches, but thawing a giant tub or container of soup seems to take forever. What if you just need a single portion or two for a quick meal? There's no time to wait for five portions to thaw at once — you're hungry now! Now, now, now!
So, here's how we freeze our soup for fast and easy lunches:
Ladle your soup into each section of a muffin tin. Here's the catch. Don't worry about getting a perfect mixture of broth and all the other good stuff mixed in; go ahead and make separate sections. Fill some with just broth and fill others with just the chunky stuff (noodles, veggies, meatballs, beans and so forth).
Once frozen, you can pop them out of the tin by placing the tray in a sink filled with an inch of hot water. They should slip right out when coaxed gently with the push of a knife. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the freezer.
Then when you're headed to work, just grab a broth cube and a "good stuff" cube. When the two melt, you'll have the right amount of everything! This also works out well for those who like more stuff than broth and vice versa.
It's a simple trick that works out amazingly well and can allow you to have dinner or lunch in just minutes, and have it be customized to your personal tastes.
Do you have any tips, tricks, or other methods for freezing soup in a convenient way?
Related: Weekend Getaways: Freeze Soup To Bring With You
(Image: Flickr member ilovebutter licensed for use by Creative Commons and Target)
(Originally published January 6, 2011)