Fantastic Freezer Meals is the theme of this month’s Recipe Redux. And we certainly believe that freezer meals are fantastic. Having a few meals in the freezer can really make packing a healthy lunch or thawing out dinner on a hectic night so much better. I love having leftovers for this particular reason. But there are times when it is good to plan for freezer meals too. Sometimes, I may double a recipe with half going straight in the freezer or make an extra meal when I have time specifically to go in the freezer.
I keep my freezer pretty well stocked for fast, easy meals, and that includes lots of frozen fruits and vegetables too. Freezing produce from the garden is another great way to enjoy the season’s bounty any time of year. I still have strawberries and blueberries in our freezer from what we picked earlier this summer. I did finally use up the last of my freezer stash of last year’s apple butter – thank goodness we’ll be going apple picking again soon. Lesley’s freezer is packed with her amazing pesto, made with the last of her fresh basil crop, and strawberry jam.
So I had many ideas swirling in my head on what to make for this month’s theme and fantastic freezer meal. Of course with it being fall, I just love making my own soup and I had just created a new, quick and easy recipe for our October menus. It seemed like a perfect fit as this White Bean, Tomato & Pesto Soup was an instant hit with everyone (and coincidentally uses Lesley’s pesto).
I love to keep soup in my freezer in single serving portions – perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. It is something either my husband or I can grab out of the freezer and go (just make sure you label and date it correctly!). We managed to save just enough of this soup to freeze for another time, and I’ll definitely be making more soon just for the freezer since it is so simple to make.
White Bean, Tomato & Pesto Soup
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1/2 cup carrot diced
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth if not vegetarian
- 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 14.5 oz can Great northern beans drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, and white beans to the soup. Stir well.
- Reduce heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. For a creamier texture, remove about a cup of the beans and mash then stir back into the soup.
- Stir in the pesto and Parmesan. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.