The best freezer meal to prepare ahead of time is soup. It’s a terrific dish to prepare on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy for weeks because most soups can be frozen for at least three months.
The first step in storing soup in your freezer is to ladle the soup into freezer bags. Next, you want to ensure you place the bags in a cool place and avoid freezing the soup directly. Finally, you want to avoid the risk of freezer burn.
The Best Method for Freezing Soup
Learn how to freeze soup easily by following our finest advice.
Step 1: Select a Portion Size
In addition to allowing the soup to freeze more quickly, freezing it in one- or two-person amounts makes it the ideal choice for a make-ahead lunch or dinner for smaller households. Before you freeze, consider what works best for you.
Step 2: Choosing the Proper Soup Container
Try the circular, reusable variety like these freezer-safe Twist ‘n Loc containers from Ziploc ($11) if you don’t like to wait for the soup to thaw. Run cold water over the container’s exterior to loosen it before you begin to eat. The soup will easily reheat when it pops into a stockpot or Instant Pot.
In order to make the most of your freezer space: Pour cooled soup into quart- or gallon-sized freezer-safe plastic bags. Once the soup is completely frozen, freeze it flat and stack it. (This is one of our top suggestions for organizing a freezer.)
Step 3: Let the Soup Cool.
Don’t let all of the time you spent boiling that great slow-cooker soup goes to waste! Before transferring your soup to a freezer container, let it cool to room temperature. After that, place it in the refrigerator to chill it off (to a temperature below 40°) before freezing. This is a general piece of advice for freezing food.
Although it may seem complicated, putting hot soup in the freezer will cause it to freeze unevenly and form huge ice crystals. (Which, when it thaws, results in mushy soup!) Soup cooling also safeguards the items in your freezer. Nobody wants the vapor from the hot soup to thaw out the rest of the food.
Step 4: Avoid Freezer Burn
Food that has been freezer-burned is still safe to consume, but it may not taste very good. Fortunately, freezer burn is simple to prevent! The first step in preventing freezer burn on your food is to keep the air out since the ice crystals that cause the burn are created when exposed to air.
Due to the fact that liquid expands when frozen, this can be a little challenging when freezing soup. (Consider soup containers with cracks!) Avoid overfilling or underfilling the container. Leave around 12 inches of headroom in the container for keeping soup.
Additionally, if you’re really worried about freezer burn, cover the liquid’s surface with plastic wrap, smooth it over the food, and then cover the container with its lid. Additionally, keeping the air out is made easier by using freezer-safe airtight containers from Arrow ($15).
Step 5: Label
Do you have unidentified food in the back of your freezer? Never again! Before freezing the soup, write the recipe’s name, the date, and directions for warming on the exterior of the container. For instance: White chili with flavor; January 9; Reheat over the burner and sprinkle with cheese shavings. This will make it easier for you to recall the dish, how long it lasts, and whether any additional procedures are required to complete the recipe.
Pro tip: We prefer to identify food containers with Post-it Extreme Notes ($20 for 12 pads). They repel water and remain sticky for extended periods.
What Soups Freeze Well?
Although the restrictions above may appear restrictive, there is a tonne of fantastic soup recipes that freeze well. This brothy steak soup and this slow-cooked chicken enchilada soup are top freezer picks. For more ideas, browse our comprehensive list of soups that freeze well.
Consider Twice Freezing Dairy-Based Soups
Since most dairy-based soups taste gritty when reheated, we advise against freezing them. However, there are a few tips to make dairy-heavy leftovers like chowder taste as creamy as the first day if you truly want to freeze them:
- As you reheat the soup after freezing, avoid boiling it.
- As you reheat the soup, try adding a little heavy cream or sour cream.
- The reheated soup should be given a cornflour slurry gradually. It works with two parts cold liquid and one part cornflour.
What is the best approach to avoid the peculiar texture? Hold the dairy, just like we advised with the starches. It’s best to wait to add toppings like cheese or cream if the recipe calls for them until you’re ready to serve. Reheat the thawed soup and add it back in. Using broth or stock as a basis has various benefits, too.
What is the Purpose of Freezing Soup?
A large batch of soup will last far longer in separate freezer containers than it will in your refrigerator or at ambient temperature. You may enjoy homemade soup for a long time without making it from scratch on your stovetop by freezing the best soups you adore. This is a sensible food safety decision. Avoid freezer burn, which will affect the flavor, and keep in mind that soup expands as it freezes, so don’t cram your freezer with too many containers.
What is the Shelf Life of Homemade Soup in the Freezer?
If you don’t enjoy taking a chance with that rule, apply the age-old adage, “throw it out when in doubt.” Throw it away if it smells and looks weird. Check out our comprehensive guide to the shelf life of leftovers.
3 Containers for Storing Frozen Soup
Finding the most effective freezing method is key to keeping your soup cool in the freezer. The following three container types are available for use:
1. Mason jars or other glass containers can store soup if its contents are wrapped in plastic. Remember that the durability and rigidity of glass containers can pile up quickly in a way that isn’t true of other options. You don’t necessarily want to fill up your entire freezer to extend the shelf life of your soup.
2. Plastic containers: Frozen soup can be easily stored in plastic containers because they typically have self-sealing caps. If you want to freeze a lot of soup, they can take up a lot of room in your freezer.
3. Plastic bags: You may save a lot of space by putting soup in plastic bags and keeping them for future freezer dinners. Pour the soup into a bag or bags for freezing at room temperature. Lay the sack flat after releasing as much air as you can. By doing this, you’ll be able to make a pliable container that can hold the soup without having any extra room. This method’s little increase in labor requirements is one disadvantage. Another drawback is that you can’t reheat the soup in a plastic bag; instead, you must take it out of the freezer and let it thaw before transferring it to a reheatable container.
Guidelines for Cooking and Freezing Frozen Soup
To get the best results, use caution when storing frozen soup. Here are three suggestions for freezing and preparing frozen soup:
1. Before freezing, cool the soup. If you put hot soup immediately in the freezer, it can thaw out and melt anything else you have next to your ice cube trays. Let the soup cool to room temperature before transferring it to the container you’ll use to keep it in the freezer, or if you need to move quickly, add cold water or dissolve ice in the soup.
2. If required, separate the ingredients. The majority of vegetable broths don’t require their components to be separated. Still, creamy, starchy, and bready soups all benefit from having certain components kept outside of the freezer and some inside. Place the meats, vegetables, and basic broth in the freezer. To reheat and add separately before each meal, store any dairy products, starchy vegetables (like potatoes), and noodles.
3. Slowly thaw. If you can, defrost your frozen soup over the course of a day for the greatest results. It should be moved from the freezer to the refrigerator, where it should spend the night. Alternately, thaw your frozen soup in warm water in the morning. You may warm it on the stovetop, in the microwave, or a slow cooker when it’s time to reheat it properly.
How to Reheat Frozen Soup?
Once the frozen soup has thawed, there are several ways to reheat it. Choose the reheating technique that works best for you by using our simple guide to reheating the frozen soup.
Microwave: Empty the contents of the frozen container into a microwave-safe bowl once it has been partially or fully thawed, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Make ventilation holes in the wrap, and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once or twice to keep the consistency consistent. If necessary, repeat.
Stove: Fill a pot with the frozen soup. When heating partially thawed soup, cover the bottom of the pot with water to avoid the pot burning. Cook until well cooked over medium-high heat. Frequently stir.
Crockpot: Whether frozen soups have been thawed or not, we do not advise reheating them in a crock pot or slow cooker. These devices will hold cold food at dangerous temperatures for an excessive amount of time. For a quick and simple supper, use a stovetop or microwave instead.
Unlike a crock pot, an instant pot is a fantastic appliance for reheating the frozen soup. Cook the frozen soup for 5 minutes using the pressure cooker setting. I’m done now! Reheating cream-based soups in an instant pot should be avoided.
Can Soup be Thawed and Refrozen?
Yes, you can defrost and then refreeze soup as long as you warm it beforehand before doing so. Before refreezing, thawed food should be brought to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Are you prepared to buy plenty of delicious soups to freeze and reheat on a chilly day? Check out the soup selection at Spoonful of Comfort, which includes the crowd-pleaser chicken noodle soup and creamy tomato soup.
Prevent Freezer Burn
If you plan to store soup in the freezer, it is important to prevent freezer burn. This can ruin the flavor of your food. It can also turn portions unappetizing. However, there are ways to prevent it.
The first step to preventing freezer burn is to ensure that the air is sealed out of the container. You can do this by using plastic wrap or aluminum foil. To ensure that the plastic is sealed around the liquid, press the wrap against the surface of the liquid.
Another way to prevent freezer burn is to ensure that you freeze foods at a temperature that is lower than the normal temperature of your freezer. Temperature fluctuations can speed up ice crystal formation.
One of the most common causes of freezer burn is leaving food in the freezer for too long. Foods that tend to become susceptible to this are fruits, vegetables, meat, and even grains.
Highly water-content foods will be more prone to freezer burn. This includes meats, poultry, fish, and starchy foods.
If you want to freeze soup, there are a few different ways to do it. You can place the soup in a freezer bag, plastic cup, or jar. Another way to store soup is in freezer-safe glass containers. These containers are designed to keep the soup cold, but they do require more refrigeration than some other methods.
Freezer-safe plastic bags work well for storing soup. However, they can be cumbersome to fill and seal. This is because the contents of the bag need to be pressed out of the air before they can freeze properly.
We hope our guide has helped you in freezing and storing your soup.