7 Soups and Stews that are Healthy, Delicious, and Easy to Freeze for Later
Very few things in life are as comforting as a warm bowl of homemade soup on a cold winter day. Whether you’re looking for a light dinner or a hearty lunch, a good homemade soup can be one of the healthiest things you can cook at home. Soup is a particularly good choice if you’re trying to eat healthier or save money.
One of the challenges to making soup at home is that with most recipes you end up with such a large quantity of soup that it’s almost impossible to finish it before you’re sick of eating it.
Want to Eat Better? Freeze More Soup
One trick that has helped us make a lot more soups and stews is that every time we cook a batch at least half goes into the freezer for later.
To make the soup easier to defrost we freeze them in these four cup storage containers with screw on lids. Each container holds around two and a half servings, which make them ideal to take to work for lunches or to pull out for a quick dinner. The screw on lids are essential when you’re freezing soup because they do a better job of preventing freezer burn and overflows than push on lids.
Another advantage is the containers are small enough that you don’t have to plan three days ahead to give the soup time to defrost; just pull a container out of the freezer and heat it up on the stove or in the microwave.
Once we started freezing soup and stews this way, we started making a lot more batches and a much wider variety. And the more types of soup that are in the house, the more we eat the good stuff and the less take-out we order.
Soup for You
Having a variety of soup & stews on hand makes it easy to grab a couple of containers from the freezer at the beginning of the week and toss them into the fridge, so there’s something ready to eat whenever anyone is hungry.
Here are seven of our favorite soup and stew recipes that taste just as delicious after they’ve been frozen as they did when they were first made.
Italian Lentil Soup
Italian Lentil soup is a hearty soup full of delicious vegetables and a scrumptious Italian sausage made with turkey that brings everything together. The fennel and leeks in this recipe compliment the lentils’ flavor and texture, making sure there’s some crunch to go along with the lentils’ earthiness.
This soup is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something healthy that works as a meal by itself or as the sidekick for a good sandwich. Make the Recipe
Lamb Stew with Great Northern Beans
Lamb stew with fresh herbs and white beans is full of delicious flavors that have the right combination of fresh and hearty to work any time of the year.
What makes this lamb stew recipe so delicious is how the interesting flavors from the coriander and fresh herbs come together and the way the seasoned flour helps the lamb stay tender while creating a thick, rich stew. Make the Recipe
Buffalo Stew with Poblano Peppers
Buffalo is an ideal choice for stews because the lean meat produces a hearty stew that doesn’t weigh you down. This buffalo stew recipe has lots of interesting flavors, a little heat, and a nice mixture of tender slow-cooked buffalo and hearty potatoes to go along with the crunch from the Poblano peppers and carrots. Make the Recipe
Roasted Carrot Soup
Carrot soup with ginger is packed full of healthy ingredients that make it an excellent choice to eat all year long. We’ve done a few things with this recipe to help this soup standout, including roasting the carrots at a high temperature and figuring out the right time to add the ginger – hint it’s not at the beginning.
What we’ve ended up with is a soup where the earthy flavor in the carrots compliments the pugnaciousness of the ginger and the brightness of the coriander. Make the Recipe
We thought it would be worth including our everyday chili recipe in this roundup. This chili recipe is designed to be something you can throw together with a few simple items that can be kept in the house.
This is the type of chili that works well when you’ve been on the run all day, it’s cold outside, and all you want to do is curl up and have something that tastes great and fills you up. Make the Recipe
This is a simple, quick tomato soup recipe full of fresh vegetables that brings complex flavors and textures together to create a heartwarming soup. This tomato soup pairs perfectly with chilly days and plates full of grilled cheese. This is one of our favorite soups to make for a crowd. Make the Recipe
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Italian Sausage and Spinach
This hearty Tuscan white bean soup is full of rich Italian flavors and is one of our favorite things to eat when we’re under the weather or longing for a trip to Italy. Make the Recipe
Stuff to Help You Make Better Soup
Making soup is pretty basic, all it takes is a big pot, low heat, and some water. That being said, we’ve added a few things here to help make cooking soup a little easier and more fun.
A good stick blender makes blended soups, like the roasted carrot soup, a lot easier to make. We’re partial to the Cuisinart Smart Stick, but have lots of other good options in Umami’s market. A good stick blender makes everything so much easier and less messy than trying to transfer the soup to a traditional blender.
Our favorite thing to make soup in is our Le Creuset Dutch Oven, what we like so much about using our Le Creuset to make soup is how the pot holds on to the heat, letting us slowly cook the soup over a low simmer to build up layers of flavor. It doesn’t hurt that the Le Creuset pots are beautiful to look at and that the enamel makes cleaning them a breeze.
If you like the idea of making more homemade soups and stews, start by picking up some freezer containers, so you have them on hand, and then pick out one new recipe a month to get you started.
For more recipes and stories check out Umami’s slow cooking section.