The weather is finally turning cold, which means we’re cooking all of our favorite fall foods. We’re sipping on pumpkin spice lattes all season, indulging in cozy cold weather comfort food, and prepping our holiday menus. But the best part about fall is that we’re officially in soup season.
We could spend all day talking about how much we love soup in all of its forms. There are soup recipes to suit every mood. It can be enjoyed on the side or as the main event. But, arguably, the best part about soup is that you can make it in big batches.
Ending up with plenty of leftovers is a great way to meal prep. But unless you’re content eating the same thing for days on end, the freezer is your best friend. We’re unpacking everything you need to know about freezing and reheating soup so you can enjoy the seasonal staple whenever you want.
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What Kinds Of Soup Can You Freeze?
Depending on what recipe you’re working with, you’ll want to approach the freezing process differently. Smooth pureed soups like tomato or butternut squash are the simplest and don’t require any extra thought.
But for chunkier soups and stews, you’ll want to tread carefully. Freezing can alter the texture of different components and make them mushy when you end up reheating it. For ingredients like beans, meat, and hearty vegetables, it’s not the end of the world.
The most vulnerable ingredients are, in fact, noodles. The pasta in your chicken noodle or minestrone will become waterlogged over time. The safest bet is to freeze the soup without the pasta. And when it’s time to thaw and enjoy the soup a second time, we recommend cooking the noodles separately and adding them to the broth. It’s an extra step that’s well worth the effort.
If your soup traditionally comes with toppings—think slices of bread for French onion soup or fresh herbs—don’t freeze them. To maintain their quality and freshness, it’s best that you add them after reheating.
How Do You Freeze Soup?
No matter what kind of soup you’re storing, you want to make sure it’s completely cool. Hot soup releases steam, and when that steam is trapped in a Tupperware container, the water condenses and lingers on the surface of your soup. This condensation could lead to the dreaded freezer burn.
Instead, you can let it sit at room temperature for up to two hours or pop it in the fridge to cool down. Then you can finally transfer it to your freezer-safe containers.
If you’re planning to feed a crowd with your leftovers, larger containers that fit about a quart of liquid are reasonable choices. But it’s also worth freezing individual servings. You can use single-portion freezer molds (like Souper Cubes) to freeze perfectly sized servings for your future self.
Don’t want to invest in more Tupperware? You can also use resealable plastic bags. Simply fill a bag in the size of your choice, seal carefully to eliminate any air pockets, then store flat on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once the bag of soup freezes solid, it can be stored upright and take up minimal space in your freezer.
Regardless of what method you use, make sure to avoid filling your containers all the way to the top. Soup expands as it changes from a liquid to solid state, so giving it some room to grow in the container prevents any unwanted spills.
How Do You Reheat Soup?
There are many ways you can reheat soup, but the most reliable way is to cook it over the stove. You may turn to your microwave as a simple solution, but the heating mechanism can thaw your soup inconsistently and take more time than you’d expect. Heating your soup in a pot, preferably with a lid, will quickly thaw and reheat your soup.
But, depending on your initial freezing method, you might need to take an extra step. Large storage containers and resealable plastic bags can be placed in a bowl of hot water until the soup is thawed enough to release from the container. Soup stored in individually-portioned molds can simply be popped out directly into your pot.
Need some soup inspiration? Check out some of our favorite recipes below: