Now more than ever, people are looking to learn about food preservation and home keeping. Long brushed off as a lowly “domestic” skill, preservation has taken a back seat to convenient food delivery services and guiltless composting. This raises the question “can you freeze homemade soup?”.
As a general rule, almost all homemade soups can be frozen. The exception to this rule is a soup that contains ingredients that do not freeze well like dairy and starches. These include milk, cream, potatoes, pasta, and rice. Another ingredient to avoid is overcooked vegetables because when thawed they turn to mush.
There are many methods of food preservation, and freezing is the easiest. This quick guide will take you through the process of how to properly store your homemade soup in the freezer. As well as simple suggestions for reheating your soup once thawed. Now, let’s discuss the easiest of them all, freezing!
Why Freeze Soup?
If surviving a global pandemic, where we needed to learn about how to care for ourselves inside our own homes, with some of us desperately trying to remember any domestic skills our mothers and grandmothers tried to teach us. Or YouTubing it isn’t reason enough to start honing out domestic skills isn’t enough I don’t know what is.
Unlike what some perky person tries to tell us on YouTube cooking can be a challenge for those who have never had the inclination to do it. After all, there is the meal planning, purchasing of the correct ingredients, the preparation of those ingredients, the cooking of the meal, then the all-important correct way to store leftovers – so there is no wastage…
When Is The Best Time To Freeze Soup?
So how long can you keep soup in the fridge before freezing? It’s important to remember when storing soups in the refrigerator that some ingredients like dairy products will spoil faster than others because of their higher water content.
Dairy products should be used within three days while other ingredients like meat or vegetables may last up to five days depending on how fresh they were when purchased at the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Freezing your soup will allow you to preserve its taste for longer periods of time without having to worry about spoiling as quickly as if it was stored in a refrigerator alone without being frozen first!
What Soups Do No Freeze Well?
The soup recipes that do not freeze as well contain milk or cream, rice, quinoa, and pasta. Simple soups that freeze well are the ones with few ingredients and clear flavors. If you want to food prep by freezing meals, why cook the recipe and leave out those ingredients that do not freeze and thaw out well. Instead, freeze a clearer version of the soup, defrost it and add those other ingredients before serving.
How to Freeze Soup
Soup is a great food to preserve and the best way to store your soup for more than a couple of days is to freeze it. It’s easy to make, easy to freeze, easy to defrost, and enjoyable any time.
You can do this by transferring it into glass jars or freezer bags, but make sure that they are airtight and properly sealed. If you don’t have any of these storage options available, then try storing your soup in a tightly covered container.
Make sure that the lid is on tight so no moisture gets inside and freezes with the food. You can double seal questionable (air-tight containers) by wrapping them in foil, or plastic wrap or placing them inside a plastic bag and sealing it with a knot.
1. Tools for Freezing Homemade Soup
For easy soup preservation, you’ll need the following items:
- Jars with lids
- Tupperware freezer-safe containers
- A freezer ziplock bag
- A silicone bag will work
- Ice block trays – for manageable serves
- Ladle or large canning funnel
- Cloths, to clean up spills
Now, get to whipping up your soup recipe and allow it to cook while you get ready to preserve the rest of it.
2. Prepare Jars for Preserving
If you are new to preserving food, one of the first things that you must learn is how to sterilize jars.
Follow these simple steps to clean your jars to freeze your soup. Note that this is sterilizing in its simplest form.
Wash jars in hot soapy water and rinse with boiling hot water – let drain.
In a cooking pot large enough boil enough water to cover the jar or jars. Place your jar/s into submerged water and let them boil in fully covered by the water for 10 minutes.
3. Cool Leftovers
Cool leftovers to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. This will ensure your food retains its nutrients and will not contaminate surrounding food items. Nor will it partially defrost other frozen items in your freezer.
Importantly you will not cause a thermal shock reaction when the hot jar meets the very cold freezer. Ever had to clean out a freezer that is frosted up – It’s no Easy Task!
4. Filling Storage Jar, Container, or Ziplock
The key to freezing soup in glass jars or any other container is to leave enough air space for the liquid to expand while it freezes. Otherwise, you’ll be left cleaning up sloshy frozen soup and shattered glass from your freezer, and nobody wants that.
Use a ladle or funnel if you need it to fill your jars with leftovers, stopping about 1” from the top of the jar, container, or ziplock bag.
Wipe around the lid/lock of your containers to clean up any mess. You do not want this residual inside your freezer or making a mess when it is time to defrost your leftovers.
Tip – When your soup has cooled pour it into ice cube trays. Remember to leave enough room at the top of each cube for the soup to expand upon freezing. Freeze the portions then pop them out and store them in a jar, container, or ziplock bag.
5. Containing and Freezing
Seal your soup and ensure that no air can enter while the leftovers are in the refrigerator or freezer. This can cause your leftovers to become contaminated. If not airtight that also means residual from leftovers can escape contaminating other items around it. Label your leftovers and place them in the freezer.
How Long Can You Keep Frozen Soup In The Freezer
For the freshest reheated leftover soup the Federal Food Safety information guide advises no longer than three months. This is why labeling your leftovers is extremely important. You have gone to a lot of effort preparing and storing your delicious soup so make sure you consume it within the three-month period.
Defrosting Frozen Soup
When you’re ready to enjoy your soup from the freezer you have a few options for defrosting frozen soup.
1. Leave it in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it. You can use the microwave oven to defrost and then heat the soup up. Great if you are short on time and need a quick meal.
2. Put the frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight, which will also defrost your soup while keeping it cold at the same time.
3. Set it on the counter in the morning – it will defrost throughout the day.
4. Place the jar in a pot of warm water for quicker defrosting – remember WARM water not HOT or you will give the glass thermal shock and it will shatter.
TIP – Wherever you choose to defrost your soup there will be some condensation on the outside of your container. Place the jar, container, or bag on a plate or piece of paper towel. No slippery jars to drop and no mess in your refrigerator or kitchen. Bonus time saver…
Reheating Defrosted Soup
Once the soup is defrosted enough to remove from the jar, pour it into your favorite cooking pot and warm it up to your desired temperature. If you are in a hurry use your microwave-safe containers to reheat the soup.
Make that frozen soup a completely fresh meal by swirling in extra ingredients to compliment the taste, like lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sour cream, fresh herbs, etc.
Is your freezer getting too full of frozen soup jars? Give a few away to neighbors or friends! The gift of homemade is the best kind there is. Especially when it’s soup.
The Importance of Preserving Food
Storing food for later use can save us more resources than we might realize. Over 80 billion pounds of food end up in the garbage every year. That’s a shocking amount, especially considering that so much of the world is in want.
We can do a lot to cut back on our waste by being mindful of preserving extra food and planning for the future. It can also save you money, add variety to your meals, and help you save seasonal abundance for darker months.
Preserving food at home is:
- Good for you
- Good for the planet
- Good for your local land
The best type of food to preserve is locally grown produce. Dabbing in preservation techniques can be your foray into exploring local markets and farms, or even trying your hand at gardening. You can’t get much more heirloom than a jar of herbed pickled carrots that you grew yourself.
Methods of Preservation
There are many different techniques for storing food in the long term. In this article, we have discussed how to freeze, but you’ve probably heard of these other common methods as well.
Canning or preservation refers to the processing and storing of foods under airtight conditions. It’s been around since the dawn of history but has become more popular in recent years due to food safety concerns.
In fact, it’s perhaps one of the best ways to process fruits and vegetables for long-term storage; most are packed with water that will help keep them fresh during times when they won’t be used immediately. There are several different types of canning depending on what you’re preserving, so you should do your research before trying this at home as a beginner.
Dehydrating food is an age-old method used to preserve food. It removes the water from foods, which in turn prevents microbial growth and prolongs shelf life. One of the best ways to dehydrate your home-grown fruits and vegetables is by using a simple yet effective technique called air drying. In this article, you will learn how to dehydrate different types of foods so that they can be stored for long periods of time.
Freeze-drying food allows you to lock in flavors and nutrients while removing moisture from it at the same time. Strawberries are a great example of freeze-drying after the process you are left with a crunchy strawberry.
Fermenting is one of the oldest preservation methods in human history and has been used for thousands of years. This method was recently popularized by the book, Nourishing Traditions, which mentions sauerkraut as a staple food from past civilizations.
Fermentation allows you to make any vegetable or fruit into a probiotic-rich superfood that is extremely nutrient-dense, so easy to digest and absorb nutrients, and can be stored at room temperature for long periods without spoiling.
Let nature do the work by allowing wild yeast and bacteria to get funky with foods and make things like cheese, Kombucha, and sourdough. The list is long there is a wide range of techniques.
Final Thoughts – Can You Freeze Homemade Soup?
It takes no special skill to preserve food only a little organization and preparation. So, find your favorite soup recipe and make use of those extra veggies hanging out in your fridge before they go bad.
In the future, you will be grateful for the delicious and quick meal you preserved in the freezer. Especially yummy on a cold winter’s day. Especially when you would rather binge-watch your favorite show or keep reading a great book. You won’t have to make a fresh meal, defrosting a pre-prepared soup is the best.
Freezing soup is one step forward to learning more about how to preserve your food. There is a wide world of homesteading ready to welcome you in with open arms. We can do this! And enjoy our home-cooked meals while we’re at it.
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