Soups are an easy way to make food in bulk and can be tailored for pretty much every dietary restriction and preference. I’m only going to give vague amounts as suggestions for these recipes, because they can be adjusted based on how much you want to make. Please note, none of these are particularly authentic to anything since I modify for ease and cost. All the recipes are designed to give you as much food as possible with as little effort and cost as I can manage.
Recipes below – ham and cabbage soup, fiesta veggie soup, Italian wedding (a very bastardized version) soup, lentil soup, winter veggie soup, white bean and kale soup, hamburger soup.
All of these recipes are freezer friendly. If you make a big batch you can portion them out and freeze for later 😀
Please be sure to stir all the soups every so often so they don’t stick to the bottom of your pot and get burnt and sad.
HAM AND CABBAGE SOUP
This is a 5 ingredient soup – ham, cabbage, onion, a bay leaf, and bouillon
HAM – You can use any type of ham (as long as it’s cooked before it goes into the soup pot) – dinner ham, ham steaks, deli ham, whatevs, the goal is that nice hammy flavour. The amount is up to you, use however much or little you want to suit your tastes. You can always add more if you feel you didn’t use enough.
CABBAGE – I use regular green cabbage for this. The size of cabbages varies wildly, which is why I’ll chop, wash, and freeze the entire thing for later use with soups. You’re going to want about 2-3 times as much cabbage as onion. If you’re using fresh cabbage, slice it all up first into rough cubes, toss them into a bowl of water and give them a good swish to remove any dirt stuck between the leaves, then strain and rinse.
ONION – I use regular white or yellow onions, not usually red or sweet, but if you like those, go for it. I chop and freeze my onions when I get them, so I just dump a sandwich bag of frozen onion into the pot.
Toss your ham, cabbage and onion into a soup pot. Add a bay leaf (optional) and about a tablespoon of the bouillon. You can add more later if you need to, but the ham will introduce a fair bit of salt into the broth.Cover it all with water (I boil mine in a kettle first because I’m impatient)
Bring to a boil on high heat and then simmer (turn to low heat and keep at a gentle boil, in case you’re not familiar with this term) until the cabbage and onion are soft and cooked through. This usually takes about 15 min for me.
Taste your soup and see how you like it. Add more bouillon or ham if you feel like it needs it. You can add more water if the soup is too thick for you.
FIESTA VEGGIE SOUP
This is a flexible soup. You’ll need veggies, bouillon, meat (if you want), rice (if you want), cumin seeds (or powder) (about 1 tsp) and a bay leaf (optional).
You can use almost any veggie you have on hand. Bouillon – beef, chicken or veggie, whichever you prefer. If you’re adding meat (usually chicken or beef), then pair your bouillon with the meat you choose.
Suggestions for veggies – frozen mix of peas/corn/carrot/green beans, corn, carrots, celery, onion, canned tomato, canned beans (black, kidney or both).
I have all those veggies pre-chopped and frozen in my freezer, but you can use the fresh versions of them too. If you’re using fresh meat, cook it up before adding it to the soup. I usually have pre-cooked chicken chopped in my freezer.
You can also add rice to this soup (or another grain if you prefer). I’d recommend that it be already cooked, or of the 5 minute cooking variety since the rest of the soup cooks fairly quickly.
Your canned beans should be rinsed. To remove all the preservative liquid you can soak them in a bowl with water for a couple minutes after their first rinse, then rinse them again until you see no more bubbles
Combine your veggies, bay leaf, enough water to cover them, and bouillon in a soup pot. Bring that to a boil. Add your cumin, meat (if you’re using) and rice (if you’re adding). Reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are cooked through. 25-30 min if they’re fresh. A little less if they’re frozen.
Taste test, see if you need more bouillon. Add more water if the soup is too thick for your taste.
This soup is super tasty with cheddar cheese cubes tossed in. Tortilla or corn chips are also a fun addition if you like those.
ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
Please note, this is not aaaactually Italian Wedding soup, it’s just the nearest comparison I could think of. It is a very bastardized version, but still very yummy.
You’ll need – frozen chopped spinach, fully cooked italian or swedish meatballs, pot barley and chicken bouillon.
I use pot barley over pearl barley because it’s less refined so you get more fiber out of it, but it’s entirely up to you. You don’t even have to use barley if you don’t like it, there are lots of other whole grain options (farro, arborio rice, buckwheat, but I believe barley is the cheapest option). Barley will swell 2-3 times it’s dry size, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding how much you want in your soup.
Rinse your barley, toss it in your soup pot. Add about 5 times as much water as your barley. You can add more later if you want a thinner soup. Add a tbsp of bouillon and bring that all to a boil. The pot barley takes 40-50 minutes to cook. You’ll have to check cooking times if you’re using another type or different grain. When the grain is almost cooked add your spinach and the meatballs. These are to taste, so if you like a lot of spinach, go crazy, if you want it veggie, don’t add meatballs. Let them hang out together in the pot on the lowest heat for about 5 more minutes, then taste test and see if you need more water, more bouillon, etc.
You’ll need – lentils, veggies of your choice, curry powder or cumin powder, bay leaf (optional), chicken bouillon, garlic
I usually use red lentils for this, which results in a smoother soup, but you can also use green/brown lentils, or split peas if you have them around.
In addition to lentils I usually add some onion, carrot and celery. If you’re using fresh versions add them halfway through the lentil cooking process. I usually do this with curry powder, but you can use cumin powder too, or both. Start with a tsp of each or both and add more later if you need.
Rinse your lentils. You don’t have to let them soak, but it can reduce cooking time. You want to rinse them until you don’t see any bubbles. Add about 4-5 times as much water as lentils depending on how thick you like your soup. Add a tbsp bouillon (you can add more later if you need to) and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. It’ll take about 20 min to cook on average. Add your veggies and garlic halfway through cooking.
The red lentils will break down when cooking. The other options will a bit as well, but will still be quite chunky. Add more water if you want a thinner soup. Add more bouillon as needed for more flavor.
WINTER VEGGIE SOUP
You’ll need – veggies of your choice, canned tomatoes, a bay leaf (optional), parmesan rinds (if you want/can find them. The deli can usually hook you up), bouillon of your choice
I usually make this with zucchini, onion and carrot. Other good options are squashes, parsnips, beets, though they’re a little more labor intensive, so whatever works for you. You can add whatever frozen veggies you have on hand.
Toss all your veggies into a soup pot. Add a tbsp of bouillon (you can add more later if needed), add enough water to cover everything. Add your bay leaf, canned tomato and your parmesan rind. The rind will give it a really lovely flavour.
Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are cooked through. 20ish minutes.
If you want to make a sort of minestrone, feel free to add some pasta to this soup as well!
Remove the parmesan rind before serving.
WHITE BEAN AND KALE SOUP
You’ll need – kale, or spinach if you like that better (fresh or frozen, I use frozen), white beans (navy, cannellini, white kidney, whatever variety floats your boat) and chicken bouillon.
Like with the above winter veg soup, if you can get your hands on some parmesan rind, toss a piece into your soup to add a flavour boost.
Rinse your beans. I use canned because it’s easier, but if you’re using them from dried you’ll have to find your own cooking instructions. For canned beans, rinse well, soak in some water for a few minutes and then rinse again to remove all the preservative liquid.
If you’re using fresh kale, wash well and tear into small pieces. If you want this part to be less work you can freeze the whole leaves solid and they’ll crumble easily when you pull them out again.
Toss your cooked/canned beans, kale/spinach and a tbsp of bouillon into your soup pot. Cover it all with water. You can add more water if you want a thinner soup later, same goes for the bouillon if you want more flavor. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until your leafy greens are cooked. 5ish minutes.
You’ll need – ground meat (beef is most common, but if you like chicken, turkey or pork better, go ahead and use that), macaroni, veggies of your choice, canned tomatoes, onion, bouillon.
If you don’t want to handle raw meat then a good alternative is to purchase the fully cooked meatballs and chop those up.
The veggies I usually use are peas, carrots and corn, all frozen.
Cook your ground meat in your soup pot until there’s no more pink. Add your onion (I use my frozen chopped onion I prepared and just toss a whole sandwich bag in). Cook until the onion is translucent.
Add your canned tomato and about 4 cups of water (you can add more later if you like a thinner soup). Toss in your veggies and a tbsp bouillon. Bring this up to a boil. Add your pasta (1 cup uncooked macaroni is probably plenty, but if you want more or less, go for it).
Reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes.
Taste test. Add more water or bouillon if you feel like your soup needs it.
This is also delicious with some cheese cubes tossed in right before serving.
If you’re going to freeze this soup, keep in mind the pasta is going to suck up more water so you may have to add some extra when you thaw it out to eat.
So that’s all I’ve got for you today, thank you so much for reading! If you have topic requests, please feel free to send me a message 🙂
I will see you all next week with another post. Bye!