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There are few things more comforting than knowing there is a ready-made meal just waiting for you to pull out whenever you need it. Thankfully, soup is one of those things that freezes very well across the board.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Store soup in shallow containers when freezing. This will make freezing and thawing more efficient. Individual portions are great. Also remember to leave some head space to allow for expansion during freezing.
Think ahead when you want to thaw the soup. Pop the container in the fridge the night before or the morning of the day when you want to eat it so it can defrost.
Use the microwave and stovetop to reheat soup on short notice. This is a handy two-pronged strategy. You can use the microwave to loosen the food from the container (try a reduced heat level or use the defrost function) before transferring to a pot to finish heating all the way through. You can also run your container briefly under warm tap water just enough to loosen it from the sides before heating on the stovetop. The government recommends bringing soups back to a rolling boil to ensure safety.
Be prepared to make some adjustments. Some vegetables or other ingredients may break down or come out softer after frozen soup thaws, but I don’t consider that a deal breaker. A fellow chatter chimed in: “Pasta in soup tends to get mushy when the soup is frozen, then reheated. So if that matters to you . . . cook pasta separately each time you serve the rest of the soup. Ditto for diced potatoes, to a lesser extent.” If your creamy soup has separated after it thaws, you can simply whisk it while heating or use an immersion or stick blender to bring it back together.
Keep track of what meals you have stored. For the best quality, use frozen soups and stews within two to three months. Label and date containers, and regularly look at what you have in the freezer. If you’re really organized, you can document the inventory on a whiteboard on the fridge.
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