This post is written by contributing writer, Joanie from Simple Living Mama.
I’m currently pregnant with my third baby and have learned that freezer cooking before baby’s birth saves a lot of time and worry after the baby is born. So I decided to make a huge pot of my hamburger vegetable soup. Half of it went into our bellies for dinner and the rest went into the freezer. I know this will be a welcome meal on a night that I just don’t want to cook, but want some comfort food.
Hamburger Vegetable Soup is a cinch to make and so versatile!
Begin by browning the ground beef in a stockpot. I like to add my onions and garlic to the pot while the meat is cooking.
I had some grease to drain off, so I drained it and placed my ground beef and onion mixture back into the pot. I then added some thyme, salt, and pepper.
At this point, I poured in my beef broth. Homemade beef broth from grass fed cows is best, but I didn’t have any on hand! If you use pre-made broth, at least look for a brand that does not contain MSG.
The tomatoes make the soup, in my opinion. I added in a large can of diced tomatoes.
Now here is where you can have some fun. You can add any vegetables you want to this soup and it will be delicious. Because I was trying to cook with my two little helpers, I just used a medium bag of frozen mixed vegetables that contained carrots, corn, peas, and green beans. If you have fresh veggies on hand that need to be used, then by all means use them!
I love potatoes in my hamburger vegetable soup, so I added two peeled and diced potatoes. If you’re planning to freeze this, be aware that some people do not like the texture of potatoes that have been frozen. It doesn’t bother us.
I brought the soup to a boil and then let it simmer on the stove for about an hour. This is a soup that tastes better and better the longer it sits. We ate some for dinner, and then I froze the rest in a gallon-sized freezer bag. It’ll be perfect for a chilly night during my postpartum haze!
Hamburger Vegetable Soup
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 64 ounces of beef broth
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes
- mixed vegetables
Begin by browning the ground beef in a large stockpot. Add onions and garlic and continue to brown until there is no pink in the meat. Drain any grease and add the ground beef and onion/garlic mixture back to the stockpot. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour in beef broth, add tomatoes and mixed vegetables. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer soup for up to an hour.
Allow soup to cool completely. Label a gallon-sized freezer bag with the name of the soup and the date. Ladle the soup into the freezer bag. You can use glass bowls or jars if you prefer. If using freezer bags, get as much air out of the bag as possible and seal. Lay the bag flat in your freezer during the initial freeze. When ready to eat, cut the bag away from the soup block and heat in a stockpot. If using glass bowls or jars, leave at least an inch of space at the top. Thaw in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours and reheat.
You can freeze just about any soup. I would just avoid freezing soups that have pasta in them. Some people also recommend not freezing soups made with milk or cream because you can have separation issues. If you do freeze a soup made with milk or cream, try not to bring it to a boil when reheating it.
Here is a list of some of my favorite soups to freeze:
What is your favorite soup to cook or freeze?
This post is part of our freezer cooking series. See all the posts in this series here.