Sheet Pan

Best Way to Efficiently Freezer-Store Soups, Broths and Stews

April  3, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Makes different quantities
Author Notes

I am a bit of a recycling/conservation nut in the kitchen. And I never have enough freezer space. So I developed these techniques. Hope they might be helpful to you! —LeBec Fin

What You'll Need
  • soups
  • stocks
  • stews
  • sauces
  1. Beef and Chicken (etc)Stocks: No way do I ever have room in my freezers to store stock. When I make any stock, after chilling and removing the fat layer, I significantly reduce/cook down the stock to a rather rubbery dark colored 'demi glace' (half ice). I pour the demi into a rectangular tub,to a depth of no more than 2 inches. Freeze it, flip it out onto a cutting board and cut it into cubes and then toss the cubes into a tub or ziploc bag. (Waste of saran to wrap each cube separately.)
  2. Soup and sauce storage: Black plastic rectangular take-out containers (the kind with the clear domed lids) are ideal for freezing soups and sauces, but I use them to hold/give shape to the food, not to store the food. I line my rectangles with saran that hangs over the sides. I fill the saran with a pre-measured amount of soup or sauce or stew (like 1 or 2 people's worth of soup.) Then I place the containers on a rimmed sheet pan and freeze them flat. Once frozen, i flip out the containers and tightly wrap the overhanging saran - around the product. I label the product and stack them in a ziploc bag.(This takes up much less space than stacked up containers with their raised lids.) Rectangles and squares fit much better than rounds into a packed freezer.
  3. I practice these techniques with liquids because I am a batch cook i.e. I always make and freeze multiple servings of each thing. For soups and stews, it's usually at least 10 servings. It hardly takes any more time to cook 10 servings of something than it does to cook 4 servings of something.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
  • shoestringmama
  • AntiquarianCooks
My eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, cardamom, and GARLIC! I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse review it and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.

4 Reviews

shoestringmama April 4, 2013
My mom used this method when she cooked up soups - she used 8" square baking pans and used foil around the saran wrap - they stacked very nicely in our freezer and 1 was just enough for our small 3 person family. Plus she'd use the same baking pan to defrost the soup in. I'm lucky enough to have enough freezer room so I can freeze soups in large glass jars or in plastic storage containers - just enough to feed my daughter and myself. For a moment I was transported back to my childhood and my mom's wonderful soups - thank you for reminding me of those great memories as it was quite a few years back!
AntiquarianCooks January 10, 2013
I love smart people!
LeBec F. April 7, 2012
I finally posted photos of these!
BoulderGalinTokyo April 4, 2012
Good idea of cutting your frozen cubes! --I just use an ice cube tray, even veggies. Like spinach I blanch, then wind round and round to fit cube tray.