Italian Pasta and Bean Soup with Sausage
Freeze Your Assets: When freezing leftover soups and stews, keep these tips in mind: To freeze leftovers, first cool the hot food by placing it in a bowl set over another bowl filled with ice water. This lets the food cool more quickly, which is important. Transfer the food to freezer-safe containers. Use small, shallow containers to allow food to freeze more quickly, which slows bacteria growth. Soups and stews expand when they freeze, so leave about 1/2 inch of space below rim. Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator or microwave -- never at room temperature. You can also slowly reheat frozen food without thawing by placing it in an appropriate-size saucepan. Cook the food, covered, until it is thawed, stirring occasionally to break it up. Then heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Cornstarch or flour-thickened soups do not freeze well, as the starch breaks down during freezing, altering the soups consistency. Cheese soups also do not freeze well.