When it comes to keeping soup, food safety is critical. Why?
When creating a large pot of soup, cooks either finish the soup and remove it from the fire to chill or leave it to cool on the counter. Then they forget about it until they notice it on the counter the next morning. Storing soups has two goals: first, to keep the food safe and free of germs that can cause illness, and second, to maintain the dish’s quality. Soups are not meant to be served in only chilling winters when you can’t stop buying warm jackets by the top custom jacket manufacturer. They can also be consumed in summer.
Given how long you choose to keep the soup and what ingredients it contains, there are three major approaches you might utilize. We will discuss them below. This is because soup freezes so well, it’s one of the greatest meals to prepare ahead of time. For the greatest results, here’s how to preserve homemade soup in the freezer.
1. Cool It Down
You can thaw already-frozen food by placing hot soup directly in the freezer. Place the heated soup pot in an ice-water bath in your sink and swirl frequently to cool things down. Before cooling the soup, divide it into smaller parts to expedite the process. You can use food quality wholesale paper soup cups to do so.
2. Portion It Out
By freezing individual servings of soup, you can turn a large pot into quick grab-and-go dinners. Quart-size freezer bags (or 4-cup freezer-safe plastic or glass containers) will hold a single serving of soup while allowing it to expand as it freezes, and they stack well when frozen flat. When you only want one meal, you’ll have the proper amount—ideal for portion control.
3. Separate Grains & Pasta
When pasta and grains in a soup freeze, they absorb the liquid and soften slightly. Cook and freeze pasta and cereals individually from the soup if you want them al dente, then add more liquid as needed before dishing.
4. Hold The Dairy
When dairy is frozen and warmed, it separates and becomes gritty. Leave it out of the soup, but write on the bag how much to add after reheating so you don’t have to look it up later. Make sure you use only quality bags by a reputable packing machines manufacturer. This is important to maintain the freshness and flavor profile of the soup.
5. Keep Vegetables Al Dente
Cook your vegetables until they’re just soft but still have a little bite to them. They’ll be great in your dinner bowl, but they’ll also keep their shape when frozen and reheated.
6. Label, Label, Label
Food has the ability to vanish into a freezer like the Bermuda Triangle. To help you remember where you left off, label soups with the recipe name, the date it was made, and reheating and garnishing instructions.
7. Save The Garnish
Before freezing, remove any garnishes, such as chopped fresh herbs or nuts. Herbs lose their savory flavor and nuts lose their crunch when frozen.
Soups can also be canned as a storage option. The biggest benefit of canning soups is that they last for up to a year, vs three months in the freezer. However, with a longer shelf life comes the need to adhere to stringent protocols and keep to tried and true formulas.
The most crucial consideration is that soups and stews are low-acid meals, necessitating the use of a pressure canner rather than the hot water bath canning procedure used for acidic foods like fruits.
Soups containing pasta, rice, flour, dairy, or thickeners like cornstarch should not be canned because they can prevent the required temperature for eradicating potentially hazardous germs from being reached. These ingredients can be added right before the meal is served.
Similarly, many ingredients, such as beans, lentils, and split peas, must be cooked rather than eaten raw. Canned soups can be stored in a cold, dry, dark place for up to a year if you follow the recipes and instructions on a reputable website. Puréed soups should not be frozen, according to the USDA. However, it can always be puréed before serving.
Special Soups Recipes
Italian Wedding Soup
This Italian Wedding Soup dish is the epitome of Italian comfort food, and it lends itself to a plethora of variants. In this healthy Italian wedding soup recipe, replace the escarole or kale with spinach, chicory, chard, or any other leafy green, and any leftover cooked (or canned) beans with the white beans.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes and black beans for lunch the next day or freeze the leftovers for another night. The smoky heat from the ground chipotle is one of our favorites.
We hope you now know how to create the tastiest soups and how to properly preserve them. Let us know which tip is your favorite!