Kitchen Success!

Yesterday I cooked one of the soups that I had “crockpot ready” in the freezer. It turned out fantastic! It’s one of our favorite soups (the French lentil soup in the bottom left corner of this page), and none of us could tell the difference between the one I make fresh and the one I made by dumping a bag of frozen ingredients into the crock pot. Definitely a winner!

So this morning, I spent somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours (I had to help our son with his couch cushion fort in the middle of it, and change a diaper, so exact times are hard to come by) and made five double batches of it for the freezer. I always double that soup recipe so that it fills up the whole crock pot. That lasts us two full meals and part of another meal. So today’s chopping and blanching session should give us at least 12 or 13 meals. They’ll be perfect for busy mornings when I don’t have time to chop up all the ingredients for soup – all I have to do is dump a bag into the crock pot, add 12 cups of water, and let it cook all day. Hard to beat that.

I blanched the carrots and potatoes before I added them to the soup bag, and they had the same taste and texture that they usually do when I cooked the soup. Not sure if it would work if they went in the freezer raw, and I decided to go ahead and blanch the carrots and potatoes for today’s prep session too – it was worth the extra few minutes that it took.

In another kitchen adventure, yesterday I made my own veggie bullion!


I got the idea from a reader (thanks Kay!) and decided it was worth trying. I used this recipe. The units are all in ounces, so I used our postage scale to weigh stuff before adding it to the food processor. I didn’t have enough salt (9 ounces is a lot!) so I ended up using about half as much as the recipe calls for. It’s still very salty and has enough salt in it to keep it from turning solid in the freezer. So I was able to scoop it out into the bags of soup I was prepping this morning. By my estimates (based on 1 tsp homemade bullion per cup of water to make broth), the batch of bullion I made yesterday is roughly equivalent to 10 boxes of the bullion cubes that I normally buy for $2.50 per box. I don’t know how much my ingredients cost, but I would guess somewhere around $8 – $10 (all organic). And of course the stuff I have in the freezer now doesn’t have yeast extract (MSG) in it. When I made my soup bags today for the freezer, I replaced half the store-bought bullion with my homemade stuff. We’ll see how it turns out. For now, I’m quite excited about it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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  1. Jjnichols99 says

    I love the idea of homemade veggie Bullion. I fix my own chicken stock from these great free range chickens we get. I was so bummed to see the organic stock I used to buy now contains yeast extract. What’s the point of it?! So very frustrating (even though my homemade is cheaper and healthier-even without the yeast extract).

  2. Kay says

    so glad you made the veg bouillon :) I hope it works out for you. I used to make homemade chicken stock using bones in the crock pot and have tried lamb and beef stock as well. But for the last 1.5 yrs, I’ve been buying organic chicken stock in the store and I’m not happy about the taste or the ingredient list. I’ve been thinking about going back to making my own stock again. And making veg stock or bouillon has been on my mind ever since my husband turned veggie last November as I noticed yeast extract or hydrolyzed protein in every veg stock I’ve seen. I’ll be eager to see how the bouillon worked for you. :)

    And I’m thrilled your freezer to crockpot recipe turned out great. I’m definitely going to give it a try. Do keep us posted of more freezer to crockpot ideas you might find / try.

  3. says

    Kudos on the veggie bouillon!  I typically just let my meats (and a few spices) flavor my crockpot stews, so I’ve never thought to make any…but it does look good!

    I’m in the process of freezing a supply of pre-cut veggies for meals and will definitely give the freezer-to-crockpot recipes a go too!

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