Freezer Pleasers

I was watching the show, ” The Chew” today, and they were making meals out of leftovers in the freezer.  I always find this rather challenging and fun, as well.  So, for supper I thought I’d see what I could find in our freezer.  I started digging around, and found some leftover Beef Vegetable Soup I had made during the winter.  It made a rather large pot, so I decided to freeze part of it.  I have found that I can use my frozen portions to make Shepherd’s Pie.  So, that’s what we’re having for supper.  I just thaw out a butter container of the soup, and then make a batch of my party potatoes, put those on top, pop it in the oven, and it’s that easy!!!  The family loves it!  I’ll share the recipes for the soup and party potatoes below.

Old-Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup 

1 1/2 Pounds Beef Shanks or roast
1 tablespoon vegetable  oil
4 cups tomato  juice or
vegetable juice cocktail
2 tablespoons  cbopped  parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
3  peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon  basil                                                                                                                             1/4 teaspoon  marjoram
1/4 teaspoon  thyme leaves
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery  with leaves
1 cup chopped  potato
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons  pearl barley
2 cups or 1 (I5-ounce) can
tomatoes
1 cup chopped  cabbage
1 cup frozen  corn kernels
1 cup cut green beans
1 cup frozen  lima beans
1/2 to 1  cup frozen green peas
4 cups hot water

Brown the beef in hot oil in a large  kettle.  Stir in the tomato  juice, parsley,
salt, bay leaf, peppercorns,  basil, marjoram  and  thyme. Bring to a boil.
Reduce  the heat. Simmer, covered, 1 1/2to 2 hours or until beef is tender.
Remove  the meat from the bones and cut into small  pieces.  Discard
the bones. Return  the meat to the kettle. Add the carrots, celery, potato,
onion and  barley. Bring to a boil. Cook,  covered,for  2O minutes. Stir
in the tomatoes,  cabbage, corn,  green beans,  lima beans, peas and water.
Cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables  are tender.  Remove  bay leaf and
peppercorns.  Ladle  into soup bowls.This soup freezes  well.
Quick  Vegetable Beef  Soup
Substitute  1% pounds  lean ground  beef and 1 tablespoon  reduced-
sodium  instant  beef bouillon  for the beef shanks, oil and  barley. Brown
the lean ground beef with the onion and  beef bouillon.  Add the tomato
juice, parsley, carrots, celery potato and seasonings.  Bring to a boil. Cook,
covered,  for 15 minutes.  Add the remaining  vegetables  and water.
Cook for 15 minutes  or until vegetables  are tender.

Party Potatoes

4 C mashed potatoes (8 to 10 large), 1 C sour cream, 1 package cream cheese, 1 tsp minced chives, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese.  In a large bowl combine potatoes, sour cream, chives, and garlic powder.  Turn into a greased 2 qt casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes.  Top with cheese and serve immediately.

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