There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a cold day. One of my favourite activities in fall is making homemade soup. I call it leftover soup because I use up all the broth and bones taking up space in my freezer as well as any leftover vegetables in my fridge. Homemade is also much more nutritious and tasty than store-bought soups.
How to Create Your Own Broth
I love to make my own broth, mainly because store-bought broth is laden with salt and other ingredients I cannot or don’t care to pronounce or put in my body. I use this homemade broth by the spoonful in sauces or larger amounts in soups and stews.
Every time I roast meat, whether turkey, chicken, pork or beef, I save the pan drippings in a bucket that is stored in my freezer. All the drippings go into the same bucket until its full and I need to start a new bucket. Each addition freezes in a separate layer with the fat rising to the top of each layer. When you remove the broth for use, the fat is easy to scrape off for discarding.
I also add the nutrient-packed liquid left at the bottom of the dish after steaming vegetables to my broth buckets. Another trick is to freeze the tough broccoli stalks you trim off the heads to prepare for meals. Freeze them in another bag.
Bones from roasted meat are also easily stored in the freezer for later use in soups, simply put them in a sealable plastic bag, squish the air out, and freeze. Turkey legs end up in a freezer bag as no one in my household likes to eat them when they are freshly roasted. These legs have lots of meat on them too, which falls off the bones as you simmer them on soup making day.
I only freeze large bones, as the smaller ones are difficult to get all the tiny bones separated from the meat. The larger leg bones are easily retrieved after simmering.
Leftovers in Soup
Leftovers taking up space in your fridge are also great in soups. The remainder of last night’s broccoli, mushrooms, corn, rice, pasta or quinoa all add bulk to your soups. If you are not making soup within a few days of preparing these leftovers, add them to the collection in your freezer.
If you grow your own vegetables, as many decided to do during the pandemic, you can freeze any you harvest for later use. I don’t grow that many that I cannot eat as I harvest, but I know those that do! On a recent trip to my favourite farm, my aunt sent me home with lots of tomatoes and instructions on how to roast them with garlic. After following her instructions, I gave several buckets away, but ended up with some in my freezer too.
By now you can probably see why I enjoy making soup in the fall. Not only do I end up with a delicious and nutritious meal but my freezer gets cleaned out too!
What do you put in your homemade soups?