As a Canadian gal, you wouldn’t think I would be particularly enthused that cooler weather is approaching, and even less at the idea of freezer cooking, since I basically live in a freezer for half the year. But for some reason, I adore fall and it gets me all geared up to make ginormous batches of one of my favorite easy freezer recipes – Butternut Squash Soup – to fill up everyone’s bellies on days where I’d rather be cozied up with a blanket than hunched over a stove.
One thing that’s fun about butternut squash soup is that it’s easy to put your own spin on it. A while back, I found this handy guide to Butternut Squash Soup variations at Paleo Pot and use it as a starting point when I want to get creative. My favorite variation includes bacon as a garnish! Here is how I prep it to store in the freezer.
Bacon Butternut Squash Soup
These quantities will give you one batch of soup that will yield about 6 servings. Feel free to multiply and make a few batches at once – it will save you a ton of time!
Ingredients for freezing day
- 1 large butternut squash (about 6 cups)
- 3 carrots
- 1 apple (I just use whichever variety has been hanging out in my crisper a little too long)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp chipotle powder
- ½ lb of bacon
- 1 – 2 large freezer bags (1 bag is a tight fit)
- 1 small freezer bag or sandwich bag
Ingredients for serving day
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
Before you touch anything else, preheat your oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with foil. The foil is not mandatory, but trust me, you’ll be happy you did this. Lay all of the bacon flat on the cookie sheet and then pop it into the oven for 20-25 minutes until it’s nice and crisp.
While the bacon is busy making your house smell delicious, get to work peeling that squash. I’m really not a fan of peeling butternut squash, so that’s why I try to peel a few at once so I don’t have to deal with it again for a long time. Once you’re done peeling, scoop out and discard all of the seeds and cube the squash. It doesn’t have to be anywhere near perfect. Peel, core and cube your apple next, and then peel and slice your carrots and your garlic.
Now that you have a huge mountain of veggies, you’ll want to stuff them all into a large freezer bag. This is a whole lot of veggies, so you may need a second bag, especially if you’re like me and your cubes are more like big chunks. Now throw in your chipotle powder.
By now, your bacon should be cooked and likely cool enough to handle. Chop it up into small pieces. I won’t tell anyone if you eat a piece. Or seven. Now put your chopped bacon into the small freezer bag and seal it, and then place that bag inside the large freezer bag with all the veggies and seal that one. Label your bag and throw it in the freezer.
Fast forward to that day where you don’t feel like cooking and are feeling a kind of crummy that only a nice bowl of soup can fix. Pull out your bag from the freezer. Now you have two options:you can cook this over the stove or you can use your crockpot. Obviously, your crockpot will take quite a bit longer, so keep that in mind.
Open the bag, pull out the small freezer bag with the bacon and put it in your fridge. Next, you can empty out all of the veggies into a large stock pot or crock pot. Add in one can of coconut milk and 2 cups of chicken broth. I like to make chicken broth and freeze it in my silicone muffin pan which makes it easy to store and portion out and I avoid needing to run to the store to buy some. Who am I kidding? In a pinch, I’ve been known to use plain old water in place of broth. Shhhh!
Bring everything to a boil and then simmer it until all the veggies are nice and soft. Now, if you’re like my husband, you will likely want to eat it like that right away. I don’t recommend that. You see, this next step is where all of the magic happens and the flavors mingle to make butternut squash soup the wonderful comfort food that it is. If you have an immersion blender, use it to blend your soup directly in the pot until you get to a consistency you like. But do make sure to get most of the big chunks so that the flavors even out. If you only have a regular blender, please be careful – blending hot soups can cause a bit of an explosion and you don’t want that. I used my Vitamix, which lucky for me, is designed to blend hot stuff without leaving your kitchen looking like a high school cafeteria after a food fight.
Ladle some soup into a bowl and grab your bacon from the fridge. Sprinkle it delicately over your soup. Laugh at yourself for thinking you would only take a few pieces and throw in a large handful. Grab a spoon and enjoy!
Looking for a few more easy freezer recipes?
Sylvie loves to blog about simple living and easy freezer recipes at Cheeriolala.com. She lives in Mississauga, Canada with her musician husband and two amazing daughters who are always great sports when it’s time to test out her latest poop recipe.