The Best Tips To Making Soup Ahead Of Time + How To Store It
Everyday is easier when you've got soup waiting on you.
Need a quick breakfast, a warm, easy-to-eat baon, or a fuss-free light dinner? We know the answer to all three: frozen soup! Double or triple a batch, cool it down, and freeze it, and you've got a dish that's ready for you any time.
Here are simple tricks you just need to remember so that you'll have perfectly delicious warm soup as good as the day you made it:
While making the soup:
1 Hold off adding the pasta and grains.
Pasta and grains will absorb more liquid as it cools or freezes, which means it will get even mushier in storage. Instead, cook your pasta and grains while you're reheating your soup.
2 Don't add dairy yet.
Dairy, once frozen or cooled, can get gritty. You can add your dairy in later when you're warming up the soup.
3 Keep your garnish fresh for later.
Add texture and vibrant flavor to your soup by holding back on your garnishes. A squeeze of lemon would be fantastic to add to freshly warmed soup. Add crunchy croutons or bacon bits last or when you're ready to serve.
4 Slightly undercook the veggies.
Cook all your vegetables a minute or so shy of completely cooked through, while they still have a bit of their crunch. You'll finish cooking your veggies while warming up your soup.
5 Avoid storing seafood soups.
Fish and shellfish can only be stored for a day. Do not go for longer as it will expose you to foodborne illnesses.
6 Portion it out now.
You should not refreeze soup. Warming it up once is enough. To make sure you don't waste any soup, portion it already into serving sizes in freezer-friendly, airtight containers before freezing.
7 Cool down the soup:
Before placing your soup into the freezer, you need to cool it down first. If you're cooling down a small portion, you can leave it at room temperature to cool on its own but for not more than two hours. That's because, after the two-hour mark, you'll be promoting bacterial growth in your soup. We don't want that.
What if you're chilling bigger portions? There are two things that you can do. First is to portion it out to multiple smaller, shallow containers. The more surface area exposed to air, the faster your soup will cool as it sits.
The second is a quicker, faster way to cool down your soup: use an ice bath. Using a bigger container or a clean sink, fill the larger container with water and ice. Submerge your pot containing your soup then stir continuously until it cools down.
8 Store your soup!
Once your soup has cooled down, you can keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. If freezing, it can last longer for 4 to 6 months at its best quality. To avoid freezer burn, fill your containers, leaving about an inch of space between the liquid and the lid to allow the soup to expand as it freezes.
9 Label your frozen soup.
Lastly, label your soup containers! If you're freezing it for a long time, it's easy to forget when exactly it was made or even, what you made.
Now that you have your frozen soup and are ready to eat it, here are the tips you need to warm it up:
1 Thaw the soup right.
If your soup is frozen, use high heat. If your soup is cold, use medium heat. If your soup has dairy, be gentle with your heat. On all occasions, simmer but don't boil your soup as that can ruin the wonderful aromas.
2 Stir regularly.
You don't want your soup to burn, especially if it's got chunks which can stick to the bottom of the pan! Avoid this by stirring regularly.
3 Make sure chunks are warmed up.
When making soup to store, it's best to cut up smaller chunks that will heat up much faster. So, make sure to check if any of the soup's bigger chunks are still cold and heat it up right. Nobody wants icicles in otherwise hot soup!
This is also the best time to add in your grains and pasta if you're adding it into your soup.
4 Microwave it in a zap.
When microwaving frozen soup, blast it for half a minute, stir, and blast it again. Repeat this until your soup is piping hot. You also need to make sure your microwavable container is tall enough so that it doesn't bubble over.
5 Thin it down.
If you added starch to your soup, you might find that it's thicker than it was originally. You need to thin down your warm soup with a little bit of water or milk to get it back to the right consistency again. Now is also the time to stir in your dairy, if adding.
6 Garnish and serve.
Once your soup is hot and all the missing components are stirred in, time to ladle into bowls and add those garnishes you wanted to add before serving it up nice and hot.
Frozen soups can be a life saver on an especially cold and rainy day. Get prepping now for the inevitable day that you need warm soup on the go.