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How to Freeze Soup to Get Even More Leftovers

Three containers of soup
Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock.com

Soup is such a versatile and comforting meal option, perfect for any time of the year. But what if you find yourself with even more leftovers than you anticipated? Freezing soup is a convenient way to preserve its flavors and extend its shelf life, but it’s important to follow some guidelines to make sure that your soup remains tasty when you decide to thaw and reheat it.

How to Freeze Soup

Two containers of frozen soup
Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock.com

Freezing soup to make it last is more than just pouring extras into a bowl. There are a few things you’ll want to do if you want your leftovers to stay fresh and safe to eat again later.

Let it Cool

Once you’ve finished eating, let your soup cool down to room temperature before moving forward with freezing. If you put your soup in a container while it is still warm, it will create steam and condensation on the lid, making for an odd watery component when you go to reheat it later.

Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Saucepan

For making your soup delicious from the start.

Choose the Right Container

Next, you will need to choose the right containers for freezing. Airtight containers, like plastic containers or glass jars with tight-fitting lids, are ideal for storing soup in the freezer. Plastic freezer bags can also be a practical option, especially if you want to save space. However, make sure to use freezer-safe bags to prevent any potential leaks.

Bangp Silicone Freezing Tray

These are great for portioning out leftovers.

Transfer Correctly

When transferring the soup into containers or bags, leave about an inch of space at the top. As liquids expand when frozen, this extra space will prevent the containers from cracking or bursting.

Tafura Twist Top Soup Storage Containers

Another great option for storage.

Label and Date

To stay organized and keep track of your freezer inventory, make sure to label each container or bag with the soup’s name and date of freezing. This way, you can easily identify what you have on hand and prioritize using older batches first.

Dissolvable Food Storage Labels

These make it easy to keep track of the dates of your frozen foods.

How to Thaw Frozen Soup

A bowl of sweet potato soup is held by a person over a marble table.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Knowing how to correctly thaw soup is just as important as knowing how to freeze it. Thawing soup correctly will let you enjoy a meal that looks and tastes the same as when you first made it.

Plan Ahead

Thawing frozen soup takes time, so it’s crucial to plan ahead and allow enough time for the soup to thaw. Ideally, you should transfer the frozen soup from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you plan to enjoy it. This slow thawing process helps maintain the soup’s flavor and prevents the growth of bacteria.

Sweetzer & Orange Weekly Meal Planner

For keeping track of future meals.

Use the Refrigerator

To thaw the frozen soup, place the container of soup on a plate or in a shallow dish to catch any potential drips. Keep the soup in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw gradually, which can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on the size and thickness of the soup.

Strawberry Street Wazee Matte Dinner Plate

For protecting your fridge (and eating, of course).

Reheat Like Normal

Once your soup has fully thawed, move it to a pan to reheat it on your stove. You can also reheat it in the microwave if you prefer, although you run the risk of your soup splashing and making a mess.

Aidacom Microwave Mat & Food Cover

To protect your microwave when you do use it.

How Long Does Soup Last in the Freezer?

Two blue silicone containers for soup
Souper Cube

Freezing soup is a great way to make it last longer and stretch your grocery budget. When properly stored, soup can last for about three months in the freezer. However, the longer you store it, the less fresh your soup will taste when you decide to thaw it.

Souper Cubes Freezing Tray

Freeze perfect portions of soup.

Can All Soup Be Frozen?

A bowl of soup sits on a table.
Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

Most soups can be frozen safely, but some will thaw better than others. Generally, broth-based soups work best to freeze and thaw later. Because these are water-based, freezing does not negatively impact the broth.

Cream-based and milk-based soups, however, won’t work quite as well for freezing. These soups may separate in the freezer and create a slightly gritty texture when reheated. While they are still safe to eat, the experience won’t be as pleasant.

If you are planning on freezing a soup that contains dairy, consider waiting until the reheating period to add your dairy products and freeze everything else in the meantime. While this means a little more work on your part, it will also leave your soup with a better texture in the end.

Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock

Soups made with broth like chicken stock will freeze great.

Properly freezing soup allows you to maximize leftovers and reduce food waste. By following these steps, you can make meal prep and family dinners easier and more convenient.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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