Soup is the ultimate comfort for those cold winter nights or recovering sick days. And typically, it’s the kind of thing you cook in large quantities – so how do you store all those leftovers? If you’re not planning on eating soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it’s gone – although that really doesn’t sound like a bad idea – you’ll probably head to the freezer instead of the fridge.
Most soups can keep for quite a long time in the freezer and are easy to prep when you need them hot and ready, pronto. But they don’t all have the same freezer shelf life – so it’s good to know how long each one is good for.
Chunky, Dairy-Free Soups
Soups with chunky vegetables, protein, and broth are the best for freezing; the ingredients don’t separate or curdle, and the moisture of the freezer won’t mess with the texture of the proteins and vegetables. These soups can last up to three months in the freezer.
But when it comes to dairy, it’s quite a different story. Anything cheesy or cream-based should stay in the freezer for one month – at the most. After too much time in the freezer, the dairy separates from the other ingredients and becomes chunky. When it’s being reheated, the dairy will curdle. All of this is sure to ruin your soup – but there is a solution! If you’re dead-set on a dairy soup and sure to be keeping leftovers, cook everything without the dairy first and portion off what’s going in the freezer, dairy-free. Then, add dairy only to the part that you’re ready to chow down on. Later on, you can thaw the soup and re-cook it with whatever dairy it needs, all fresh and stuff.
When it comes to soups with noodles, they sadly just won’t hold up in the freezer. They’ll soak up all the liquid and turn to mush. The cheat here is the same as with dairy – freeze your soup starchless, and cook new starches in when you’re ready for that second (and maybe even third) round. The bases for these soups can also last up to 3 months.
Storage Tip Bonus
One more tip for the road: size matters when you’re freezing. Before you box everything up, remember that portioning off smaller servings from a giant block of frozen soup is somewhere between silly and impossible. So bust out the smaller Tupperware that will match your future meal needs. Airtight bags work well, too!