Our summer is coming to an end and I have already started dreaming of cool Fall evenings, with a brisk wind whipping up the crunchy leaves in a flurry, the autumnal colors decorating the outdoors, and a warming fire crackling in the back yard pit, sipping hot apple cider and filling our tummies with rich warm soups, stews and chowders.
I have been stocking my freezer with all my extra celery, onions and carrots. I dice them up and put them in freezer bags in 1 or 2 cup amounts. I am determined to make up slow cooker packs for my favorite soups and stews. Most soups and stews start with the same base…mirepoix (equal parts celery, onion and carrot) or the trinity (equal parts celery, green pepper and onion). With all the lovely fresh herbs in the last few Italian packs and a few from my back yard I have a gold mine.
I have gathered up some of my goodies from recent baskets, veggie packs and case add ons with a few extras like meats, cheeses and stocks and some canned tomatoes this will become 7 meals of soups, stew and chowder. I have a supply of snack size, quart size and Gallon size plastic freezer bags on hand ready to get these packs together.
You can take any of your favorite recipes and make them into freezer packs. Chili, corn chowder, beef stew, minestrone, pasta fagioli just to name a few.
Chop your veggies as instructed in your recipe; separate ingredients that need to be sauteed. (things like green beans, peas, greens and potatoes need to blanched before freezing.) Meats, cheeses, herbs and spices should also be bagged separately. Place all the small bags into a gallon sized freezer bag; label and seal, removing as much air as you can. For convenience you can tuck in a copy of the recipe.
Lay flat in the freezer, once solid these can be stacked vertically to maximize space.
Whether you plan to use a slow cooker or prepare them on the stove, you will have hot hearty healthy meals available for your family.