What if you could save 10 or 15 minutes every time you made homemade soup? That would be pretty awesome, right? Make a batch of these soup starter pods, store them in your freezer, and grab one or two as needed to get your next batch of soup started.

Make-ahead soup starter pods: Get a head start on your soup recipe!

What Is Mirepoix?

Many soups, stews, and savory dishes start with mirepoix – a mix of onions, celery, and carrots, cooked in butter or oil, and simply seasoned with salt and pepper. (I added fresh garlic to my mix, which is non-traditional to mirepoix, but oh-so delicious in most soup recipes.)

What if you could make mirepoix ahead of time, freeze it in pods, and use it as needed when you want to make homemade soup?

Ingredients needed to make soup starter pods: A simple mirepoix mix, ready to grab out of the freezer.

That’s the idea behind these soup starter pods. Most of the prep work for a homemade pot of soup is already complete. You simply take one or two of the frozen pods out of the freezer, heat them up in your soup pot, and proceed with your soup recipe.

This soup hack saves so much time. Homemade soup has never been simpler to make.

How to make soup starter pods: Start with a simple mirepoix mix of carrots, celery and onion.

How To Make: Make-Ahead Soup Starter Pods

  • Start with (approximately) 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot, and 1 part celery + several cloves of garlic, minced
  • Chop onions, chop celery, and peel and chop carrots
  • Sauté all veggies in olive oil
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add chopped garlic in the last couple minutes of cooking
  • Allow to cool
  • Place and press down mixture in individual cupcake liners
  • Place in freezer until solid
  • Remove from cupcake liners and place back in freezer in a sealed bag or container

Make-ahead soup starter pods: Saute veggies, season, cool, and freeze.

How To Use Soup Starter Pods

Once your soup starter pods are frozen and ready to use, they can take the place of the first step in many soup recipes: Chopping, sautéing, and seasoning onion, celery, and carrot.

Instead, you’ll take one, two, or three pods out of the freezer (depending on size of your soup recipe) and heat them over medium heat in a drizzle of olive oil.

Once the veggies are hot, you can proceed with the rest of your recipe.

Texture Issues

There’s no way around it: There is some loss of quality in texture when using frozen carrot, celery, and onion pods.

However:

  1. This is still a huge timesaver
  2. Your soup will still taste good
  3. These are IDEAL for soups that are pureed, where any texture issues will not be noticeable: Butternut squash soup, corn chowder, creamy vegetable soup, sweet potato soup, creamy roasted carrot soup, etc.

Make-ahead soup starter pods: Freeze your pods, and use as the starter for your next batch of soup.

Recipes To Try

Try using these soup starter pods in any of these recipes:

Keep in mind: These pods work well in a variety of different soups, even if the recipe doesn’t call for carrots or celery, per se. Put on your chef hat and decide if these flavors will work for your soup recipe!

Make-ahead soup starter pods: Save 10-15 minutes on your next batch of soup!

Variations

Although mirepoix works in so many different kinds of soups, sauces, and other dishes, you can certainly try a variation to save time on your style of cooking:

  • Add chopped jalapeno (or other pepper) if you like spicy soups
  • Add chopped green, yellow, orange, or red pepper to the mix
  • Use different seasonings (curry, paprika, Indian spices, etc.)

This recipe idea is all about saving you time and simplifying cooking. Don’t overcomplicate it – come up with your own unique variations.

Make-ahead soup starter pods: Get a head start on your soup recipe!

Make-Ahead Soup Starter Pods

Yield: 12 soup starter pods
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Depending on the size of your soup recipe, you can use one, two or three of these pods.

Ingredients

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 6 large carrots
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop onion into small pieces. Peel carrots, cut in half the long way, and cut into small chunks. Remove ends from celery, cut in half the long way, and chop into small chunks. Mince garlic.
  2. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring, for 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables have softened and browned in a few spots. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add garlic a minute or two before removing from heat.
  3. Allow vegetables to cool to room temperature. Use a scoop to fill cupcake liners (in a cupcake pan). Press down on mixture. Place in freezer and freeze until solid.
  4. Remove from freezer and remove cupcake liners. Store pods in a freezer bag or container. Use one, two or three to start your next batch of soup.

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