When you are tired of typically prepared dishes that are the same every night, it is definitely time to spice them up a little and have fun with cooking! Why not look into a new way to make soup and also make it fun for those little kiddies in your life? Instead of generic soup with broth and veggies – make alphabet soup with a hearty base and lots of fun times ahead.
Why is it always the case that soup has been such a popular meal for generations now? Is it because it is easy to make? Is it because a little can go a long way? What about the fact that depending on the ingredients used, you can make soup one of the most nutritional meals there is? It’s actually a combination of these things.
Soup is easy to make in the sense that you throw all your ingredients (once prepared) into a pot, then you let it simmer on low to medium heat once it has been brought to a boil. It isn’t the type of dish that you have to stand by the stove and constantly watch as it is cooking, allowing you to do other things you might have to get done in the kitchen or other areas of the home.
It can be stretched into multiple meals, especially when paired with fresh rolls or crackers. Soup is also the type of meal that can be filling or light on the stomach, hence the reason that it is used as a starter course in a number of high-end restaurants.
Soup is also extremely nutritional because of its contents and it can be a great way to ingest your daily doses of protein and vegetables. The base is generally something along the lines of beef or chicken broth which increases your liquid intake.
You have your protein in the form of the meat product you choose to use in your soup, such as beef, wild game, or chicken. Even fish could be used if you are making a chowder. Then you have your vegetables which is your daily servings of those. To really punch up the nutritional value, use fresh vegetables from your local farmers market.
How to Freeze and/or Bottle Soup
Now that you know why soup is a great addition to your dining room table – it is time to learn how to store the excess or leftover soup to be used as another meal down the road. Having leftover soup in your pantry or your freezer is a great idea for those evenings when you are running behind or you just can’t think of what to have for supper that evening. Quick, easy, filling, and warming right down the toes – soup is amazing all around.
It isn’t recommended that you just store soup in the refrigerator for longer than two to three days because the consistency and taste could change. But if you get a little creative with storage options? Then you are in business for future meals.
Freezing soup is definitely an option but it is never recommended that you use glass jars if this is how you are going to store it. This is because once liquid freezes? It expands which could lead to the jar bursting open and quite the mess in your freezer to clean up. Use freezer safe bags (vacuumed sealed bags work great) or storage containers that are meant to go into the freezer.
Follow these steps for freezing soup:
- Decide how much soup you want in each storage method and section it out for future meals.
- Allow the soup to cool before starting the storing process.
- Once the soup has cooled, pour it into the storage container of your choice and seal as per the instructions.
Unthawing Frozen Soup
When you are ready to enjoy your soup as another meal, take it out beforehand and allow it to naturally unthaw at room temperature. Pour the room temperature soup into your pot and simmer on low heat until the soup is warmed through. Once this occurs, you can turn the heat up but not on bust because you don’t want to burn the broth or the ingredients.
Serve and enjoy!
If you want to bottle soup to store it for future meals, then you should have the canning jars (mason jars), new lids and seals, and labels. A funnel or small ladle is also a good idea to prevent burns from the hot soup.
- Make sure that your canning jars are clean and either heat them in the oven on a low heat or wash them in the dishwasher and allow them to dry on a heat setting.
- Put the lids and seals into a boiling pot of water. Leave them there until you are ready to use them.
- Using the funnel (or ladle) pour your soup into the warmed jar and then place a fresh seal on the top of the jar. Screw the lid on and place it on a heat-safe mat. Use oven mitts or something similar as you are doing this step as the lids are coming out of boiling hot water (plus, you are handling hot soup).
- Listen for the pop that means the jar is fully sealed.
- Place sealed jars into the pantry or another room temperature place while keeping them out of direct sunlight.
How to Make Alphabet Soup
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- 1 15oz can tomato sauce
- 5 cups water
- 1 12oz bag or 1 can mixed vegetables
- 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
- ½ cup alphabet pasta
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Step 1: Cook meat
In a large pot combine ground meat, dry onion, salt & pepper on medium high, Cook until the meat is nice and brown, drain any extra fat and juices that may produce. You want this mix to be lean.
Step 2: Add veggies
Add in your mixed vegetables and stir well. You want an even distribution of the veggie and meat.
Step 3: Add sauce
Add all of the tomato sauce to your meat and veggies mixture and stir well. Then, increase your heat.
Step 4: Boil
Bring all ingredients to a sizzling boil and then remove from heat and allow it to simmer for a moment.
Step 5: Add pasta
Stir in alphabet pasta, reduce heat, and simmer the whole thing until your pasta is tender. Note that this recipe would work for any pasta, not just alphabets.
Serve and enjoy!