Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Freezer Meals: Savory Vegetable Beef Soup

Savory Vegetable Beef Soup
What you'll need:

Frying Pan/Skillet
Cutting Board
Measuring Cup/Spoons
Ingredients for ONE batch. 
Times the ingredients by how many freezer bags you'd like to make.
1lbs of ground beef
(1) Onion
(2) Cloves of Garlic
(2) whole carrots chopped per bag
(2) celery stalks chopped per bag
(3) Red Potatoes chopped per bag
(1) can v8 split between bags
(1) 28oz can diced tomatoes SPLIT between bags
(1) cup frozen green beans in each bag
(1/2)TBSP Worcestershire per bag

(1/2) cup Beef Broth per bag
(1) TBSP Parsley per bag

(1) tsp Basil per bag
1/2 tsp Thyme per bag
(1/2) tsp salt per bag
(1/2) tsp pepper per bag
(1) TBSP Sugar per bag

Set out all your ingredients in your work area. I am making two batches so everything listed above will be doubled.

Wash, chop onions and garlic cloves

Add the onion and garlic to your pan, brown with ground beef.
Once browned, drain oils and set aside to cool.

Next, wash and chop up your remaining veggies: celery, carrots, and taters. Then add frozen green beans. If you're really special, you'll have a little helper that puts the cut veggies into separate bowls.  The bowls are quite helpful to make sure you have equal amounts in each bag.

Just make sure to keep track of your inventory...
hey kid - how's the carrots?
Now, pour your diced tomatoes into the bag.

After, add all your veggies and spices into the freezer bag.

The meat should be cooled by this point and is ready to add to the bags. 
Since we made 2lbs it will be split between each bag.

Follow the instructions to pump out air if using Ziplock freezer bags, if using. 

Finally, label your bags with the cooking instructions and title.
Cooking Instructions:
Savory Veg Beef Soup
Add 1.5 cups of water and 15 oz beef broth
Low for 8 hours in crockpot

Cooking Day

I took the meal out of the fridge about 10am after I realized I'd compeltely forgotten to pick a meal. (One fail moment in freezer cooking) 

My bag said to add water.  As I reached for the sink, I thought - wait!  This is still frozen and heating will create its own water.  So I just tossed in the whole froze lump and added the beef broth. 

I knew we'd be out of the house for part of the day after some exciting personal news.  So I put this baby on low for 8 hours.  (Normally, I aim for the fastest cooking method possible)  When I came home, I didn't smell the soup welcoming me...slighty disappointing.  It looked yummy but then again, I'm not a huge fan of soup that doesn't include noodles or a form of starch.  Note: I wasn't counting the few taters in this mix.  However, the flavor - was quite good.  The first bite was slow but as I ate more and more, I really enjoyed the taste.

Jakob really liked it as well.

I'll make this one again because of all the wonderful veggies.  The kid gave it a semi ok ruling but that may have been because MeeMaw let her have cheesecake before dinner.

Next round, I may add some spices for a small flavor kick.

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