National Soup Month: Everything You Need to Know

Jan 2, 2018
Senior couple having lunch together

Love warming up with a bowl of soup during the cold winter months? Then you’re in luck.

It’s National Soup Month, and in honor, we’ve rounded up all our favorite soup cooking, storing and freezing tips – and even a few recipes.

Ready to stock up on your favorite winter meal? Let us guide the way.

Cooking for Two

Will you be cooking for just you and your spouse? Most soup recipes make more meals than two people can eat in a week. Rather than deal with halving recipes or changing portion sizes, consider making larger batches and stowing them away for later instead.

Here’s some tips to do that successfully:

  • Avoid recipes with lots of dairy. These won’t last as long when stored in the fridge, and if frozen, they could come out chunky and off-texture when thawed. If a soup calls for cheese, sour cream or some other form of dairy, consider adding it after you’ve thawed the meal and are ready to eat.
  • Invest in the right storage containers. Your best bets are aluminum pans with lids, sealable plastic Tupperware and zippered freezer bags. Be sure to get some foil too, as this can help protect your meals from freezer burn even more.
  • Make sure to label everything. Include what the soup is, what ingredients are in it and when it was made/frozen. Also be sure to note how many servings are in the container. This will make it easier when thawing and doling out portions.
  • Clear out space in the freezer now. Go ahead and clear off one or two shelves in the freezer to stack your stored soup. Cleaning and organizing is the last thing you’ll want to do after a long day of cooking!

Though soup may take a couple of hours to cook, if stored properly, it’s a meal that can last you all season long. Warm, comforting and filling, it’s a great way to stay healthy and energized during the cold winter months.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Zesty, hearty and full of great proteins and vegetables, this is one soup that’s ideal for a cold winter night. Feel free to add toppings like cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, cilantro or avocados if eating immediately. If storing for later, add these toppings after thawing and reheating.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and dried
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 4 oz. can green chilies (optional if you don’t like spiciness)
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 chili powder
  • 1 cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Add the onion, bell pepper, corn, beans, chicken, chilies, tomato sauce, tomatoes, spices and chicken broth into a crockpot. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts, and shred into small pieces. Add the pieces back to the crockpot and stir thoroughly. Serve, refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze.


Minestrone

An Italian classic, this soup is perfect as a side dish or a main course. Plus, full of fresh vegetables and plenty of protein-packed beans, it’s a great way to fuel your body with healthy, hearty nutrients. Try it with a toasted roll or baguette for dipping, and top with Parmesan cheese or fresh parsley for added taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup white onion, minced
  • 2 basil
  • 1 oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. rosemary
  • 3/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 32 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups zucchini, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cooked red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cooked great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shell pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Add carrots, celery, garlic, onions, spices, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves to crockpot. Stir in vegetable broth and water, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2-3 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, add in beans, zucchini, spinach and pasta and cook on high until pasta is tender.
  3. Taste using a small, clean spoon, and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve or freeze.


Meatball Soup

Want something extra filling? Try this hearty meatball soup. Warm, filling and full of flavor, it’s a recipe to enjoy all winter long.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz. snow peas
  • 3 cups cooked white rice

Directions:

  1. Put an oven rack about 6 inches below your broiler, and start the broiler preheating. Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the pork, green onions, garlic, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in a bowl using a fork. Use your hand to mold the mixture into one-inch meatballs, and place each one on the baking sheet. Broil until brown – about 7 minutes.
  3. On the stovetop, heat your broth in a pot until simmering. Add in the snow peas, rice and meatballs once browned. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 5 more minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in covered 5-quart saucepot, heat broth to simmering on high. Uncover, add snow peas, rice, broiled meatballs, and stir. Cook 5 more minutes until snow peas are tender, and serve or freeze.

Come See Ganton’s

Tasty soup is just one of the many things on the menu here at Ganton’s this winter. Come see what we’re cooking up – in the kitchen and in our halls – yourself. Contact us to schedule a tour today. For information about Countryside, call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

 

 

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