I absolutely love the idea of freezer meals, but I rarely do them. I do, however, fill my freezer with easy freezer meal prep starters. Specifically, soup starters. Starting in about August each year, at peak gardening and farmer’s market season, I start stashing away bags and containers of cut up veggies that I can easily throw in a stockpot and build a soup.
I’m going to tell you what freezer meal soup starters are, why I love them, how I use them, and how to store them. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be #teamsoupstarters for life.
What are Easy Freezer Meal Prep Soup Starters?
Soup starters are cut up veggies that I freeze to make easy… wait for it… soup starters! I mostly stick to a mirepoix mix, or carrots, onions, and celery. About half the soups I make in fall and winter use these basic ingredients. I can also make homemade chicken pot pie and a few other non-soup dishes with this starter.
The other soup starter staple I use is peppers and onions. About the OTHER half of the soups I make use THIS as a base. In late summer, I can get 4-6 peppers of all different colors for about a buck at our local farmer’s market. I also do a ton of peppers and onions in strips for tacos, burrito bowls, sausage and peppers, etc.
Back when I shopped inside a Kroger (pre-March 2020 ;)) they frequently had bags of organic peppers marked down to $0.99 for about 3. I grabbed as many as I could when I saw this!
Even if you don’t find them super duper on sale or discounted, you’ll still find soup starters useful. Why? Read on friends. Read on.
Why Do You Need Soup Starters?
-three kids! (or one kid or ten kids)
-busy work schedule!
-can’t afford take out every night!
Or in our case, all of the above. Soup starters are a lifesaver for getting quick and easy dinners on the table. Soups come together in 10-20 minutes when the veggies are already cut up! You’ll have fewer dishes if you chop up several dinners at once. Once you get in a routine of doing it, it will seriously come so naturally.
How Do You Freeze Soup Starters?
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Use what you have! Save tubs from yogurt or plastic takeout soup containers. Quart-size freezer baggies are great for these. If you’d like a more eco-friendly (but pricier) option, there are a ton of styles of reusable freezer bags on the market now. They beauty of this easy freezer meal prep is that it’s EASY.
Other tools you’ll need:
What Can You Make with Them?
Goodness. What can’t you make with them? For real. Here’s a list of some ideas for the carrots, onions, and celery mix.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Italian Wedding Soup
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Black Bean Soup
Bonus: Chicken Pot Pie
For peppers and onions:
Black Bean Soup
Stuffed Pepper Soup
Bonus: Fajitas, Sausage and Peppers, Stuffed Pepper Skillet
In the fall or winter, each meal plan will have at least two soups or more a week on it. There aren’t many soups my kids won’t eat, and it’s so easy to throw in the Instant Pot or slow cooker for a mostly hands-off meal.
If you need some more ideas on how to use them in a meal plan, we’ve got a free Theme Night printable here. (You can also find FREE blank meal-planning templates here.
How Much Should Go in Each Freezer Portion?
That depends. How many people do you typically feed? One or two? Probably one cup portions. Three to Five? Most likely 2-cup portions. Scale up accordingly.
I’ve seen some recipes call for one part onion and two parts carrots and celery for a mirepoix, but I typically do 1-1-1 ratio. I don’t quite measure. I like to do a 2-pound bag of organic carrots, a 2-pound bag of onions, and 1-2 celery bunches, depending on their size. First, I chop and fill a big prep bowl, give it a good stir, then portion out into containers.
For peppers, you can also do 1-1 pepper/onion ratio, but again, it doesn’t have to be exact. You aren’t going to make or break a recipe for having 60/40 rather than 50/50.
The soup starters should last anywhere from 3-6 months in the freezer. In a regular freezer-three months. In a deep freeze-up to six months. You may want to take a sharpie and mark the date you freeze them so you can rotate and use accordingly.
Easy Freezer Meal Prep Starters for the Win
So, if you aren’t convinced to try out these easy freezer meal prep soup starters, WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT FROM ME? Just kidding. You can follow us on Instagram for lots of quick and easy meal ideas, plus meal prep shortcuts and meal planning tips. You can help us out by pinning this post to your favorite Pinterest board, or sharing to Facebook. Thanks friends!