Alrighty, so here is the first recipe! I wanted to start out with a super simple recipe for freezing. This style of prep I like to call, "measure and dump", because that is all you do, you measure out the ingredients and then you dump them into a ziplock freezer bag. There is no dicing or cooking involved at all. It would be easy to whip up a few batches of this at once.
This soup is wonderful. It has great flavor and can be used as is or you can add whatever you want to make it more. We usually just eat it as is because it is so good.
Basil/ Tortellini/ Bean Soup (Serves 6)
4 1/2 cups Chicken, vegetable or beef broth (if you are going to freeze this soup then add 5 bouillon cubes and then add 4 1/2 cups water on serving day. This saves you freezer space)
9 oz. frozen cheese tortellini
15 oz. white beans ,drained
14 oz. diced tomatoes with juice
1 Tablespoon Basil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
~Place all ingredients in ziplock bag. Seal.~
SERVING DIRECTIONS~ No need to thaw! Place in crockpot (add water if you used bouillon cubes) and cook on low for 4 hours. Don't overcook or your tortellini will be mushy, it will still taste good even if you do over cook it.
Variations: If you want to add more to this soup...GO FOR IT! You can add chicken, zucchini, spinach, carrots, whatever floats your boat. Oh, you can also top it with shredded Parmesan cheese :o)
**Updated to answer a couple questions**
~If you want to add spinach just add it :o) It is going to be wilted in soup and it still tastes yummy. You can use fresh or frozen spinach in this recipe, they both freeze just fine.
~Whenever I make a soup that calls for stock I use bouillon cubes instead. Most soups call for 4-6 cups of bouillon. It is really hard to get that much liquid into a freezer bag and if you do get it all in there the bag is really big and takes up a lot of room in your freezer. One bouillon cube makes 1 cup of bouillon when you add the water. So if it calls for 4 cups bouillon I just add 4 bouillon cubes. Then on cooking day I add the 4 cups of water. Does that make sense?