We make soup all the time – it’s both economical & very easy to make a large amount of it at one time given you have a big enough pot and ways to store it after. When not battling morning sickness, which makes my desire for everything I normally eat vanish like a child who has been asked to clean up their socks, I crave soup. Now that my morning sickness and food aversions have abated for the most part, I am able to base my food choices on practicality and nutrition again :).
I like to make soup in my very big 24 quart pot. Typically I will throw in about 3 quarts each of chopped onions, celery, and carrots – along with 1lb of chopped mushrooms, 1lb of chopped greens (usually kale), and 2ish lbs of chopped potatoes. I cover this in meat broth (I almost always have lots of this on hand, but that is another post) and begin simmering it. Mean while I will cook 2lbs of dried beans in my instant pot – I’ve already soaked these dried beans (usually chickpeas – our favorite) overnight. After the beans are done, I drain and rinse them, then throw them in the pot with the veggies. This usually fills the pot to almost completely full. I season this with 1/4 cup each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and ginger powder. If you eat an omnivorous diet like we do, I will usually throw in a few pounds of meat (ground beef, sausage, shredded pork, chicken, shredded beef, your pick). I cook up some rice on the side and add a scoop of rice to each bowl as I am serving it. While we are in CSA season, I am adding a lot of different veggies in depending on what we get each week.
Once we’re done having our first meal of soup, I divide up the leftover soup amongst as many 9×13 pans that I have available (I have 4 at the moment). This allows the soup to cool down much more quickly than waiting for that gigantic pot of soup to cool down. If I don’t have enough 9×13 pans, I will put some in another smaller pot (usually my 8 quart pot) and once it is cooled I will store that in the fridge as well. Currently we have 3 refrigerators (1 large, 1 medium, 1 small) which allows us to store a larger amount of pre-prepared food. I stack our 9×13 pans in the fridge by putting a piece of sturdy cardboard in between each pan so they don’t squish one another and cause the soup to seep out the sides and make a mess. One day I’d like to just have all 9×13’s with plastic lids so I don’t have to fuss with this step (and aluminum foil), but you use what you have :).
We eat this leftover soup for 3-4 more meals depending on what I add to them. I will often throw in more rice (or leftover rice), or I will add some leftovers from dinner to stretch it. As a gluten free, dairy free, minimal processed food family, it saves so much time to not have to come up with a fresh lunch idea every day.
Let me know if it spurs you on to your own creative time saving meal ideas! Blessings to you and yours <3