A flexible recipe for seasonal lemon garlic roasted vegetables to freeze and then use to make a delicious vegetable soup to enjoy in the winter. This is a great way to stock the freezer with in-season vegetables you grew or found at the farmer's market to feed your body (and soul) all year!
When I first started growing vegetables in our Portland city lot years ago, I ran into that thing most gardeners run into: what to do with all the last of the vegetables. Or what's left after making all the things you had on your preserving list.
Though it's not limited to just gardeners - anyone who has found deals at markets or farms knows that feeling of running out of time before your precious produce starts to go bad.
So when I discovered the basis of this recipe for roasted vegetables and a soup you make with them in the newspaper, I knew that by adding a freezer meal prep element, I'd have a winning way to quickly use up all that end of season produce.
Making the roasted vegetables seasoned with lemon, garlic, and herbs when they're in season has become a wonderful way to preserve vegetables from the end of the harvest. I always make sure to have at least four bags of these vegetables in the freezer every fall, preferably more, though making this any time of the year you have extra vegetables to use up is good, too.
Let's talk a minute about how wonderful the quick soup you make with the vegetables tastes in the winter. The flavor is SO good: garlic, a little lemon, the lingering of fresh herbs, and of course the vegetables.
What a fantastic way to get a good, healthy variety of vegetables during the dark winter months!
What do you serve with this soup?
It can also be a first course or a light lunch. It's perfect for anytime you have only 10-15 minutes to get a meal on the table. That's when simple meal prep ideas like this are gold.
Make & Freeze the Lemon Garlic Roasted Vegetables
The main thing to remember with this recipe is to cut the vegetables up about the same size, so they roast evenly. I find it easiest to do one vegetable at a time, layering the vegetables in the pan.
What Vegetables to Use
The vegetables you can use are pretty flexible, depending on what's available from the garden, but I always try to use:
- chopped zucchini (or other type of squash)
- sweet peppers (ripe, colored ones only - bitter green peppers will make the soup bitter)
Other options are:
- sweet potatoes
Lately I've been chopping the stems from cauliflower and broccoli and keeping them in the freezer until I have enough for a recipe like this, which is a great place to add them.
What not to use?
No tomatoes, because that would turn it into a tomato soup. I don't have anything against tomato soup (in fact I love this recipe), it's just not what we're going for here.
Also, no potatoes since they don't freeze as well. You can add potatoes when you make the soup as an option, though I usually don't.
What else do I need?
Chop whatever herbs you've got growing in the garden. A favorite mix of mine is:
Grate the zest of a lemon right over the pan, then juice the lemon in to the pan. Add olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.
Sweet and simple, right?
Stir it up and roast at 450 degrees.
You could eat it now, of course, but that would spoil the treat you'll get in the depths of winter when you make the soup.
For now, place 3 cups in each freezer bag (you'll get about 2 bags from each recipe), label it and put it in the freezer.
Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
Make the Roasted Vegetable Soup
When it comes time to make the soup, pull out a bag of your frozen vegetables an hour or two before so they thaw just a bit (or if you're really prepared with your meal planning, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator).
Now it's as simple as boiling the mixture with broth (hopefully a nourishing bone broth you also pulled from the freezer) for a few minutes, whirring it all together with in immersion blender (or in batches with a regular blender - carefully, though, so the hot liquid doesn't go everywhere), and seasoning with more salt and pepper if you'd like.
And you have a warm, homemade, healthy soup, ready to eat in just 10 minutes.
That in itself is something to love, but with one bite you will realize this goes way beyond just convenience food because it tastes amazing.
Isn't it nice when healthy, quick, and delicious all coincide like this?
Freezer Lemon Garlic Roasted Vegetables & Delicious Soup Recipe
- 3 medium zucchini and/or summer squash
- 2 sweet bell peppers, orange, red, or yellow
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/3 c. mixed fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, chives, and parsley
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
To Make Soup:
- 3 cups Lemon Garlic Roasted Vegetables
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 1 cup peeled and diced potato and/or 1 cup milk*
To Roast The Vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Chop all the vegetables to similar sizes and place in a large roasting pan.
- Add the herbs, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to mix.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are lightly brown and very tender.
- Let cool and then pack into quart-size freezer containers in 3-cup portions, label and freeze. You should have enough for 2 containers.
To Make The Soup:
- Combine the vegetables and broth (and potato, if using) in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes (15 if using potato).
- Use an immersion blender to puree right in pot, or let cool slightly and puree in batches in a blender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste (add milk here if using), and serve.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in October of 2009.