Tag Archives: Refrigerator

Freezing Soups and Sauces

Freezing is one of the most convenient ways to preserve food. There really is nothing to it, just pack your food in something and put it in your freezer. I also used to explore vacuum sealing equipment as it helps to keep products fresh for a long time.

A lot of people use tinfoil trays (like you get your takeaway curry in) or plastic boxes to freeze almost everything. While they are definitely a great option for Lasagne Slices or even mini “oven bakes” they do take up a lot of space in the freezer, and with most of us not having a chest freezer, it doesn’t seem practical to freeze food in portions.

But, there is a way to freeze food in portions, at least some types of dishes anyway. The technique we use most is for freezing those “thicker liquid” type of dishes, your soups, sauces, currys, stews etc. and it really is straight forward. here’s how…

a plastic bag in a pint glass
A pint of plastic bag

First you’re going to need some sealable plastic freezer or sandwich bags (not the ones that you tie). You will also need to let the food cool before doing this.

You will also need a pint glass or a measuring jug. Now place the Bag in the glass or jug and fold the open end over the side as shown in the picture.

Then simply add your soup, sauce, curry or stew into the bag. We usually add two portions per bag, simply because there’s 2 of us to cook for, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do less or more portions either, so long as you have appropriate sized bags. I will sometimes use a Kitchen funnel with soups and sauces as it reduces the potential for making a mess. 😉

Funnel plastic bag and jug
Funnel, plastic bag and jug

Next you want to lift the bag out of your jug or glass and close the top about three quarters the way across. While holding the open corner, you want to lay the bag on a flat surface (remembering to hold the open part up a little so the contents don’t flow out) and gently push all the air towards the opening.

Once you have the air out, try to make the liquid reach the seal by gently pushing down on the bag and then close the bag the rest of the way.

Using a freezer marker, write on the bag what you put in, when and how many portions, you might think you’ll remember but chances are you won’t.

Bag of Soup
Ready to go in the Freezer

Once you have the bag sealed, simply lay it flat in your freezer and leave it to freeze. You can stack multiples of these at a time and leave them to freeze, just make sure the outsides are dry and they won’t freeze/stick together.

The biggest benefit that we’ve had from doing this apart from the obvious saving on wasted food, is that these “skinny” bags defrost in a few hours on their own, but also if your’re in a hurry a soup or a sauce can be defrosted even quicker by propping up the frozen bag in your sink and letting cold or slightly warm water flow over it for a few minutes.

Once defrosted, simply re-heat the dish and serve as normal.

Soups, sauces and the freezer

SMEG #2

The next recipe will be coming up shortly and it’s a little twist on one of my all time favourite soups. My basil and tomato soup is one of those “accidents” that happen every so often, but the result was so good that I continue to use the “accidental” recipe. This recipe can be frozen and kept in the freezer ready to serve.

There’s not a lot else to say about this soup but I want to discuss the kitchen freezer a wee bit. It’s not just a place to make ice and store your processed food, it can also be used to store food you make yourself.

Most soups and sauces can be frozen and stored for weeks once they have been fully prepared. There are just two things to remember when freezing food.

If raw meat has defrosted don’t refreeze it unless it’s been cooked fully.

If cooked meat is defrosted don’t refreeze it, either eat it or bin it.

For soups and sauces we have found a great way of maximising the storage in your freezer. First you will need a flat surface in your freezer so this usually means re-organising it a bit, for me anyway. Then you will need some re-sealable freezer or sandwich bags.

Once your soup or sauce has been fully cooked and had time to cool completely, put some into a freezer bag and then half seal the top, lay it on a flat surface holding the still open end up, gently squeeze the bag until there is no air left inside and seal it fully. Then place it on the flat surface in your freezer to freeze. Naturally the thicker the soup or sauce the easier this bit is.

For soups we put two portions into a bag, that way there’s enough for Elly and myself, but if we have an extra mouth or two coming for lunch/dinner we can just pull out another bag.

The other great thing about freezing soups and sauces this way is that you can take them out of the freezer and put the bags in cold water to defrost the contents. This usually takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes. Then for soup, just heat it up and you’re ready to serve.