TUTORIAL: Stocking the Pantry with Homemade Soup Blends and Mixes

There is finally a chill in the air here in Texas and my pantry is stocked and ready.  This is a glimpse of the variety of homemade soup seasoning blends I have stocked my pantry with...but if you look in my pantry today, the jars are less full and the bags are not as plentiful.  Lunch and Dinner are as easy as open, pour, heat and eat!

Here is how I did it!

From the beginning of fall to the first signs of spring, I find myself more inclined to be making last minute decisions for dinner.  Not because I didn't plan ahead, but because our schedules get crazy and I find my plans are constantly changing.  (school, parties, events, meetings, etc, etc. etc...!)

This is when 2 things come in handy:
1.  A freezer stocked with precooked ground beef and/or chicken bagged in 1 pound portions

2.  A pantry stocked with homemade mixes I can prepare quickly without skimping on flavor.

The first thing I do is get out my Soups eCookbook 
Buy Now
and determine which soups 
I want to stock up on.  
Here is the full list from the book's table of contents: 
Then I use the organizing / planning / shopping  list from the eCookbook 
to get:
make a shopping list!
It looks like this:
and you can have a free copy of it
(ingredients listed on the form are specific to the recipes found in the Soups eCookbook...
but you can adapt to other recipes in your file if desired)

I made some of everything in the book, 
and it took less than an hour to get my pantry full!
 Organized space is key.
The island is where I make each of the blends. 
The counter in the background (full of spices and herbs)
is where I stage all of my supplies, pulling them
to the blending table as needed.  
The blending table is where I keep the label maker, 
measuring tools and bags or jars.  
The counter you can't see is where I have cleared space
to put my finished products before moving them all
to the pantry. 
 Before starting, I pull the recipes from my printed eCookbook
and line them up in the order I want to make them.
These are placed on the 'blending' station too. 
To keep myself organized and avoid making mistakes that could
cause me to run out of carefully planned and purchased ingredients,
I put sticky notes on each page denoting how many of each
recipe I planned to stock and 
whether in single mix bags and/or in bulk.

Now it's time to start making the blends one at a time.
First...what I call the 3 'Fiesta' Soups.
They are big time family favorites!
Blending station set up with ingredients pulled from staging area and ready for
Chicken Enchilada Soup!

First I make the individually bagged mixes,
adding each ingredient as I go down the line.
Just open the bags and fill with one ingredient at a time.
As I am done with each ingredient, I close the lid.
This helps me stay on track and not get confused
{yes...I tend to forget what I was doing from time to time *grin*}
If I wasn't going to put these in a labeled container later, I'd mark the bag, but I'll show you the containers I use in a bit...

Now to make the bulk blend version of the recipe.
Using a whisk instead of a spoon makes for better blending.
Once blended, scoop into a quart sized canning jar
(or container of choice)
The label maker on my blending table is used for my jar lids...

As for 'why bulk AND individual bags???
...I like to have bagged mixes on the shelf  so 
the kids can make soup for dinner
without me worrying about how
they measured from the bulk container.
However, I'm good with measuring from the jar
and I can use the seasoning blend for more than just soups!
{various ideas listed here}
OK...next in the trio is the
...Put blend in quart sized jar / container. 

Then I make the 3 individually bagged
recipes I planned for. 

And to finish the trio...
Taco Soup Blend

You get the drill *wink*
Whisk, blend, fill and seal!

Now I have my Fiesta Trio ready for storage.
The bulk versions are great to have on hand, giving me
quick and easy options for dinner.  
The Taco Soup Blend 
makes all of these recipes {click}
The Chicken Enchilada Soup Blend 
makes all of these recipes {click}
The Tortilla Soup Blend 
makes all of these recipes {click}
As I mentioned earlier, I keep the individual mixes 
in containers in the pantry.  
You can see them in the back, behind the bulk jars.  
(white lids on clear bases)
I put the bagged mixes in the container with a printed version 
of the recipe so anyone that is hungry 
can make themselves a fresh pot of soup.  
As easy as opening a can but 
tastier, fresher and more economical!

Speaking of 'canned soups'...
The top shelf behind the Fiesta Trio 
is stocked with what I call 
the 'standard' canned soups.

The great thing about these homemade versions 
is that I am in control... 
~of the type of ingredients that go into the jars
~of the freshness of the ingredients
~of the flavor intensity
~ and of the costs.

Here's how I do that...
With the Potato Soup,
I decide which soup base to use for flavor, 
controlling the salt content as desired. 
I can increase the dill flavor if I so choose 
by adding more than the recipe recommends,
and it  makes a full 6 servings, 
so I'm not opening up 3 cans to get 
a full bowl for my full family.  

Making this soup is as easy as warming 
up a pot of milk and water. 
Just like a canned soup!

Same with the family favorites...

Again, I control salt content, flavor intensity,
regular or whole wheat pasta noodles, and...
...each makes a large pot of soup.
{serves 6 easily}  
I just add some water for the chicken soup
and some water and canned tomatoes for the beef soup.
{meat is optional...sometimes I do, sometimes I don't!}

Won't those jars of homemade soups 
look so cute packaged up with a bow for 
Gift Giving!
{I LOVE shopping from my pantry for gift ideas!}

Buy Now 
[click 'buy now' to get the Soups eCookbook Download]

The book also includes these other
family favorites!

In my pantry I also made these mixes 
that have already been used for fast and easy
dinner time decisions...
 No Alarm Chili...scooped and sealed!
I make quite a few bags of this blend...
besides a mild chili, it makes great
...I just add beans and water!
{chicken optional)
 And finally, a must have for our family...
the quick and easy Gumbo Mix!
{I just add 
water, tomatoes, chicken and sausage...
...heat and serve!}

And my pantry stocking is complete!
{Blue Ribbon Chili found here...just click!}

I love having options in my pantry...
are the best!

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