Making a large bowl of soup or preparing it for delivery will be great if it can last for a while. But you need to know how to store it properly.
Of course, the easiest way is to stick it in the fridge and forget about it till the next time you’re hungry. But there is a way to do it right so that it actually tastes even better when you return to it. Let’s look at some of those tricks.
For How Long Can I Keep Soup in the Refrigerator?
The thumb rule is to store it in the fridge for up to three to four days. You can also freeze it to extend its lifespan. Whatever you do, don’t leave it for more than a couple of hours at room temperature. You also don’t want to put the hot bowl in the fridge.
So, USDA recommends storing it in a shallow but large bowl till it reaches room temperature and then placing it in the fridge. In this container, the soup shouldn’t be more than a couple of inches deep. You can also keep it chilled in cold or ice water before placing it in the fridge.
Safe Ways to Store Soup
There is more than one way to store the soup safely. Here’s how.
If the plan is to eat it in the next three to four days, keep it in the fridge. But make sure it is in an airtight container. Ideally, it should be brought to room temperature and then placed in a refrigerator that is at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the soup has tricky ingredients, you can try the next method.
This is a neat way of extending the soup’s lifespan. Freezing it will keep it consumable for about three months when done right. So, if your soup has ingredients like cheese, cream, milk, noodles or pasta, you will have trouble.
Starchy items will absorb the liquid in the soup while the likes of milk, cheese and cream will get separated. And in any case, you don’t want to keep them frozen for too long. So, aim to store them for weeks instead of months to avoid the formation of crystals.
Get some freezer bags, and get the air out before you pour the soup into them. You can also use freezer containers and put a plastic wrap on them.
Related: Best Thermos For Soup Reviews
Best Way to Reheat Soup
There are four ways of doing this.
Pour the soup into a pot and place it on a stovetop for two to three minutes. Let it come to boil one or two times. If you are reheating clear broth, you can add some water to make up for what was evaporated while heating it.
If you are reheating soup that was in the fridge, you want to let it thaw for a while. Once that happens, you can pour it in a saucepan or a pot. Set the stove to low or medium heat and let it come to boil one time.
If you are dealing with frozen or refrigerated soup, you can also reheat it in a microwave. Switch it on and keep it at low while pouring the soup into a microwave-safe jar. It is recommended to reheat soup in a glass jar.
And finally, if the soup contains vegetables or cream, you want to heat it indirectly. So, place it in a container and place that container in a hot water bath in low or medium heat. This way, the texture of the soup stays unaffected.
The Many Types of Soup
Judging by the consistency of the soup, you could be dealing with six types of soups. Consomme, broth and bouillon soups are considered clear soups, while potage, bisque and cream are thick soups.
This is made by heating egg whites, tomatoes and minced meat in a broth. The heating process gets rid of any impurities and fat while the egg whites form a white layer on top, which is their protein.
Broth and Bouillon
To make these, meat like fish, beef and chicken or veggies like carrots, mushrooms, celery and leeks are heated. Soups made by heating bones are also referred to as clear soups. When the temperature of these soups drops, the gelatin becomes thick, as does the broth.
For this, you must simmer all the ingredients till they become mushy. Usually, it consists of veggies and meat.
This is made by simmering seafood like shrimp, lobsters and crabs to extract their flavor. You can then use shellfish (grounded) or rice to make it thick. The starch that comes out is the broth.
To make cream soup, you must mix the cream or milk with roux to keep it thin. Then you add chicken, mushroom or tomato to the mix.
There are many ways to keep soup fresh when stored. Now you know how to do that and also reheat it without losing the original texture.