De Ma Cuisine

Freezing Archive



July 2015



Spicy Summer Squash and Tomato Soup

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Sides, Soups, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


Summer isn’t usually the time of year that people are busting out the soup recipes. I realize that. But, it is the time of year for squash and tomatoes, so let’s make an exception.

Tomato Soup is one of my favorite comfort foods. I have memories of being at camp as a kid on a rainy summer day, eating grilled cheese and tomato soup in the dining hall. (That’s one of the few good memories I have of camp… I wasn’t much of a camper.) It wasn’t just camp, or even just during childhood. This has always been one of my favorite meals. It brings with it a wave of nostalgia, but it’s also a quick and easy meal that packs in fruits, veggies, grains, and protein (if you add the grilled cheese).


I started it off with some summer squash and salt. Simple and easy. I added some hot peppers (I used half a jalapeño and a whole Hungarian hot pepper, both without their ribs and seeds) and garlic. Everyone cooks away for a little while.


If you have tons of tomatoes on hand, this would be a great time to use them. You’d want to cook for longer, but, it’d be great. I don’t yet have an abundance of tomatoes. My garden holds the promise of things to come with plenty of green tomatoes. But, they’re not ready quite yet. The tomatoes that we’ve gotten in our Abundant Harvest Organics box are precious and I like to use them raw, on sandwiches, to top potato salad, or as a simple side. So this time I’ve used canned tomatoes. I think both ways would be great. You could also roast the tomatoes like I did on the show a few years ago. Lots of options here.


Since basil and tomatoes are pretty much best friends, I added a ton. Doesn’t matter what color – purple, green, lemon basil… just as long as it’s fresh.


You could leave the soup chunky if you wish. But, I like my tomatoey soups to be smooth, so I blended it up. I learned the hard way that if you’re not using an immersion (or hand) blender (so a regular blender) that it’s imperative that you take the lid’s plug out and cover the hole with a clean tea towel. If you leave the plug in, it will most likely (at least in my experience) fall in and get blended up. This will mean not just ruined soup (sad), but a big mess (annoying), and soup splattering all over you (ouch). Learn from me, friends. Take out the plug. 😉


If you’re planning to enjoy the whole pot of soup the day of, you’re golden. If you end up with leftovers or just want to make it ahead of time and pop it in the freezer, you need to cool it down quickly before it goes into the fridge. So, here’s a trick: To cool the soup down quickly, add only 2 C stock when cooking. Then after it’s cooked, add 1 C frozen stock or ice and stir in to cool down. When it’s cooled down, put it in the fridge to cool completely before freezing.


I like to store things in the freezer in smaller containers so that I’m not defrosting a large container for just one or two portions. Each container gets a label with the name, date, and number of people it will serve. To defrost, pop it into the fridge overnight. Or, just add it frozen to a soup pot with a bit of water or stock in the bottom and reheat.

Happy Eating!

Spicy Summer Squash and Tomato Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 19 minutes

Total Time: 29 minutes

Yield: 4

Spicy Summer Squash and Tomato Soup


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 C summer squash, roughly chopped
  • to taste salt
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 hot peppers (depending on what type), ribs and seeds removed, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • pinch ginger
  • 2 C crushed tomatoes (or tomato puree)
  • 3 C stock or water
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 C fresh basil, chopped


  1. Heat a soup pot over medium-low. Add oil. Add squash and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add hot pepper and cook for 2 minutes. add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomatoes through maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
  2. Remove from heat and add basil. Blend with a hand blender (or in batches in a regular blender, with the lid's plug removed and the hole covered with a clean tea towel) for 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.



August 2014



How To Freeze Peaches

Written by , Posted in Fruit, How To, Kid-Friendly, Storage/Prep


There’s nothing quite like the tangy-sweet taste of a peach. Ok, except maybe a nectarine… they’re pretty similar…

In these hot summer months, I love biting into a super juicy piece of fruit. So juicy that I either have to eat it standing leaned over the sink, or outside. It doesn’t have to be a peach. Watermelon, plums, apricots… they’ll all do the trick.

But, I’m eating a peach as I type this.

I just can’t get enough.


Because of this, it makes sense to me to save some for the winter months, when we’re wondering when we will ever see stone fruit again. It makes sense to always have peaches on hand for Fruit Crisp and topping Tim’s Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.



So here’s what I did the other day with part of my twenty pounds of peaches… I halved them, and pulled out the pits (which I’m saving to make some Peach Pit Tea).

You may notice that I left the skins on. If you want to skin them (some say to do this if you’re making peach ice cream, others don’t… it’s up to you), score the bottom with an X, toss whole ripe peaches into a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then quickly submerge in an ice bath (water and ice in a bowl). Let stand for 15-30 seconds or so, then peel the skin off with your fingers. (This is the same way you’d easily peel tomatoes, by the way.)


Some of the pits were split. That’s fine. Just pull out the pit and if there’s anything pitty still in the peach flesh, scrape it out and discard. (I didn’t save these pits for tea.)



You could stop here and freeze the peaches halved if you want. I sliced them. I got about 8-10 slices per peach. They could then be chopped if you feel like doing a little more prep work ahead of time. But, I figured that it’s not too much work if I want to chop later for a crisp. Plus, I can’t unchop if I decide I want them all sliced again.

If you’d like to toss them with a little bit of lemon juice, that can help with browning. I guess that I worked quick enough that I didn’t have any turn brown, but if you want to be sure, lemon juice usually helps out.


Freezer safe bags or containers are filled up. I used a large measuring cup and got a rough estimate for how much was going in to each bag. Some people like to freeze fruit by laying it flat on a baking sheet, freezing, then putting it into bags. That would be great. But, I was short on time, so I just didn’t fill the bags too full, and have laid them flat in the freezer, in hopes that the slices don’t stick together too much. And if they do, it won’t be a monster sized hunk’o peaches to break apart.

Do whatever works for you.

The sliced peaches can be eaten frozen, as a snack, right out of the freezer. They’d make a great popsicle replacement for a hot summer’s day. If you want to enjoy them with breakfast, thaw in the fridge overnight. They’ll be great with some Greek yogurt in the morning. To use them in a Vegan Fruit Crisp, you could use them frozen, or thaw them in the fridge overnight. If they’re frozen, just increase the baking time a bit.

Peaches go well with strawberries, vanilla, red, white, and sweet wines; pistachios, raspberries, blueberries, cinnamon, cream, ice cream, and oranges.*


I ended up with about 35 cups of sliced peaches. Good for a while I hope… except that Tim has started making homemade ice cream most weekends, and peaches go really well with it.

We may be in trouble here. Maybe we will have to order another twenty pounds just to be saved for our ice cream addiction. 😉

Happy Freezing!

*Ideas for peach parings from The Flavor Bible.