Normally, I would make a third of this recipe for an average weeknight dinner for the two of us. But this time around I made a big batch and was able to freeze 4 quarts of it for easy, comforting dinners this winter. If you’d like, you can double or triple this and freeze a lot more. Just make sure you have a BIG pot!
There’s no real trick to freezing, but here’s what I do. I place a quart size freezer bag in a 2 cup measuring cup. The cup helps it to stand open and cuts back on mess. Then I pour the soup in until it’s about 2/3 full, squeeze out as much air as I can, then seal it up. I freeze the bags flat on a baking tray for easier storage then stack them up to pull out when I need them. Just make sure to label them so you don’t wonder what that odd colored bag of liquid in your freezer is (trust me, it’s happened before).
Serves: Makes 4½ quarts
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 6 cups chopped yellow onions (About 2 very large onions)
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a variety of kinds and didn't peel, but you can peel if you like)
- 6 cups chicken broth (or swap vegetable broth)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Basil, to garnish
- Cream, if desired
- In a large (at least 6 quart- bigger is even better!) heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until they've started to soften. Add the balsamic, sugar, and garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the chicken broth and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Simmer another five minutes then taste. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup into the consistency of your choosing. You can make it totally smooth or leave some chunks. I personally like a few chunks. You can also blend this in your blender, but I recommend draining off the liquid and just blending the solids to avoid a blender explosion! Once the solids are blended, add them back to the liquid and stir to combine.
- To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and top with sliced fresh basil. Swirl with half and half or heavy cream, if desired.
- To freeze, allow the mixture to cool then ladle it into freezer safe containers or quart size freezer bags. Freeze bags laying flat. Thaw soup in the fridge overnight then reheat on the stovetop.
Recipe adapted from Care2.com