From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Turn the page for four great soup recipes!

In the Freezer

Most soups keep well frozen for up to 3 months in plastic freezer containers. Defrost soup in refrigerator or microwave. Slowly warm over low heat.

OUR FAVORITE STOCKS

Save time with these tested winners on the shelf

CHICKEN

Swanson Natural Goodness

Rich poultry taste in convenient cartons.

BEEF

Pacific Natural Foods

For hearty, full-bodied flavor.

VEGETABLE

College Inn Garden Vegetable

Fat-free and less than 1% salt.

FROM THE PANTRY

Keep these items on hand and have soup in no time

PACKAGED STOCK

Chicken, beef or vegetable broth is the start of any soup. If you opt for bouillon cubes, keep it healthful with low-salt varieties.

FROZEN VEGETABLES

Frozen peas, corn, green beans, broccoli and spinach can be subbed for fresh in almost any recipe.

CANNED TOMATOES

Tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano add an Italian flair; versions with green chilies are great for Mexican soups. Bottled pasta sauce also works.

OLIVE OIL

Use it to saute vegetables (even frozen ones, thawed) to bring out the flavor before adding stock.

PASTA

Dried or frozen (especially tortellini or gnocchi), it will give your soup some heft.

CANNED BEANS

The protein they add can make your soup a meal. Mash up cannellini beans to add thickness to a broth.

BAGUETTES

Slice, stow in plastic zip-top bags and freeze. Then just thaw and toast to serve with your soup.

CORN CHOWDER

Serves: 8

Hands-on time: 20 min.

Total time: 1 hr.

6 green onions, sliced

2/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons butter

1 (32-oz.) container low-sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 lb. red potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon sugar

2 cups milk

1 (32-oz.) package frozen whole-kernel corn, divided

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Garnish: sour cream, green onions

1. Saute onion, bell pepper and celery in melted butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 10 minutes.

2. Stir in chicken broth and next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until potatoes are tender.

3. Process milk and 2 cups corn in a blender until smooth. Add corn mixture, remaining corn and pepper to soup. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes until soup thickens. Remove bay leaf. Garnish, if desired.

SPICY VEGETABLE SOUP

Serves: 8

Hands-on time: 15 min.

Total time: 1 hr., 5 min.

1 lb. lean ground beef

1½ cups chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (26-oz.) jar chunky pasta sauce

1 (10.5-oz.) can beef broth, undiluted

2 cups water

1 cup sliced celery

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 (16-oz.) package frozen mixed vegetables

1 (11-oz.) can white shoepeg corn

1. Cook first 3 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes, until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain; return beef to Dutch oven.

2. Add pasta sauce and next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, mixed vegetables and corn; return to a boil. Cover and simmer 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

TORTELLINI MINESTRONE

Serves: 8

Hands-on time: 15 min.

Total time: 50 min.

1 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth

¾ cup dry white wine

2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

1 (16-oz.) package frozen green beans

1 (16-oz.) package frozen spinach

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

½ teaspoon dried, crushed red pepper

1 (19-oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini

1. Saute onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, wine and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add green beans, spinach and next 3 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 minutes. Add tortellini and cook 10 minutes or until pasta is done.

LENTIL SOUP WITH TURKEY KIELBASA

Serves: 8

Hands-on time: 12 min.

Total time: 10 hrs., 17 min.

1 (14-oz.) package turkey kielbasa, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 (32-oz.) containers vegetable broth

1 (16-oz.) package dried lentils, rinsed and drained

2 (8-oz.) containers refrigerated, chopped celery, onion and bell pepper mix

3 large carrots, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Cook kielbasa in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. Combine kielbasa, vegetable broth and next 5 ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or until lentils are tender.