If you are anything like me, the holidays sneak up before you know it. Not long after handing out the last of the Halloween candy, a turkey is roasting in the oven for Thanksgiving and cutting down a Christmas tree is not far behind. Now is the time to fill the freezer with a few meals to ease in dinner preparation during the hustle and bustle of the season.
Soups are one of my go-to freezer meals. It’s easy to make a big pot of piping hot soup loaded with fresh produce. Let the soup cool and then tuck it into the freezer for dinner in the future. After overindulging in spinach dip with sourdough bread, honey glazed ham, twice baked cheesy potatoes, pumpkin pie, and Christmas cookies, a comforting and nutritious bowl of soup fits the bill.
Barley Vegetable Soup is a hearty bowl of tender grains of barley, onions, carrots, green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes. This chicken stock based soup freezes beautifully. Just make sure to completely cool the soup before stashing it in the deep freeze.
After preparing the soup, fill a sink with cold water and ice cubes and place the soup pot in it. Stir the soup occasionally to speed up the cooling process. Package the cooled soup in resealable freezer bags for easy storage. Don’t forget to write the date on the bags with a permanent marker as soups are best served within 2 to 3 months of freezing. Thawing the soup in the refrigerator overnight is ideal. Just heat the thawed soup in a pot over medium low heat while stirring occasionally.
Having a few homemade dishes like Barley Vegetable Soup ready and waiting in the freezer will take the stress out of what to serve for dinner. No need to resort to serving processed foods. The delicious and beautiful soup will be a comforting dish to grace your dinner table.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more for seasoning)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper (plus more for seasoning)
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- ½ cup barley
- 2 medium russet potato (diced small)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups green beans cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 14.5 ounce can petit diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (minced)
- Heat a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrots, celery and garlic and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Sauté the vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the chicken stock, barley, potatoes, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the green beans and tomatoes and simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the green beans are tender crisp.
- Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool completely before packaging and storing in the refrigerator or freezer.
Recipe by Amy Casey ~ 2016
© 2016 amycaseycooks
- Category: entree