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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.