Make Ahead Mason Jar Soup Lunches AND the Best Chicken and Rice Soup Ever

A few weeks ago my friend Claire and I had lunch to catch up since we had both been going 100 mph in different directions, and she had just made some chicken and rice soup that was AMAZING. I had heard her talk about it before when she’d made it but never had had a meal of it myself, and it was just a perfect blend of flavors. When I started feeling icky after burning the candle at both ends later in the week, I remembered she had given me some to stick in the freezer, so I pulled it out and had it for dinner when I wasn’t feeling well. It opened up my sinuses, soothed my throat, and added a little pep in my step.

So on Sunday, I decided I would make a batch of this Chicken and Rice soup that I just love. Brace yourselves folks – it’s a Swanson/Campbell’s recipe and it’s so stinkin’ easy to make!

The next challenge? Would Van like it too…he’s slightly particular when it comes to food. I had tested the waters earlier in the day:

Me: “Do you like chicken and rice soup?”

Van: “I don’t know that I’ve ever had it.”

Me: “Would you try it?”

Van: “What’s in it?”

Me: “Chicken and rice and other stuff you’ll eat.”

Van: “Ok”

Whew. Go for launch.

Shortly before dinner, Van walked by the stove and glanced in the pot. “Hey, what are those green things in there? I didn’t approve any green stuff.”

Me: “They’re green olives. You like green olives. I didn’t try to trick you.” Readers…remind me to tell you the purple potato story another time!

When we sat down for dinner, I waited….Van took a bite…

“So?”, I asked.

“Edible”, he said. My heart sank a little because y’all, this soup is so easy, and I could seriously eat it once a week in the winter… but I personally need husband approval to feel ok about adding it to the dinner rotation.

Then he said, “I’ll have seconds”…AND THEN, to my delight, he said, “You could send this with me for lunches.” …which, from my picky husband, is a HUGE compliment. YES! Quadruple fist pump! I patted myself on the back and high fived myself (in my head).

This chicken and rice soup is 1) easy, 2) healthy, and 3) delicious… a perfect combination if you ask me. Since I’ve been battling congestion and cough, the garlic and red pepper in this soup is JUST what my old boss, Ashley, would have ordered. Not only does one batch make more than enough for dinner, there were plenty of leftovers for about 4-6 lunch sized portions as well. I packed the soup in a couple of Tupperware containers, and when I ran out of the size I was using, I stuck the rest in a mason jar – which I took to work today.

I typically eat soup for lunch in the cooler months, and while my mason jar was heating up yesterday I thought about how fabulous it would be just to have these stocked in the freezer for weekday lunches. I know that the chicken and rice soup freezes well… I ate some out of my freezer last week. So I just need to find a few other recipes that freeze well, make a big batch, and voila, lunches for weeks. Definitely added to the project list! If you’re up for the same idea, add this soup to your list… and don’t overfill your mason jars!!!

If you want to make and freeze some soup in mason jars yourself:

  • Start by cooking a big pot on the weekend to give yourself plenty of time for prep and cleanup. I plan on doing this on a Sunday afternoon when Van is golfing. You can do other chores while the soup is cooking, so it’s a great multi-tasking project.
  • When the soup is done, let it cool some so you aren’t pouring piping hot soup into cool mason jars.
  • Grab a ladle and a canning funnel like this one:

Canning_Funnel

  • Ladle soup into jars taking care NOT TO OVERFILL!!! You do not want to have to clean up a broken mason jar in your freezer!!! NO BUENO. Wide mouthed jars are rumored to be best for freezing broth and soup on. I’ve even read some other articles where people put warm soup or broth in wide mouthed jars and had no issues.

 

  • Leave the lids off slightly to let them cool sufficiently before putting in the freezer. I love reusable mason jar lids. I use mason jars for lots of storage tasks, and these basic ones are handy, but I also found some funky orange and lime ones that are definitely tempting me! (Click for affiliate links from Amazon).

Plain mason jar lid Orange_wide_mouth_Mason_Jar_Lid

Lime_Standard_Mason_Jar_Lid

  • Label mason jars with grease pens or plain ol’ masking tape. Be sure to add what’s in there and what the date is (don’t forget the year). Now you’re ready to stack them in the freezer! Pull out a few each week and you’ll have lunch for as long as you have soup in the freezer!

A few other soups I plan on trying to make and freeze in mason jars:

{ Chicken Noodle Soup from the Morning Fresh }

{ Mason Jar Minestrone from Frugal Beautiful }

{ Mason Jar Tortilla Chicken Soup from All Parenting }

 

…and don’t forget about chili!! Chili freezes AMAZINGLY. My favorite red chili recipe coming this winter…

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Eclectic Goods | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

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