You come home from work in the evening and need a hot meal, so you reach into the fridge and grab some soup to heat up. How long has that soup been in the refrigerator, though? Perhaps it would have been better to have frozen it, so you know it will still be safe to eat after longer than three or four days.
Can you freeze soup after it has been in the refrigerator?
Soup that has been kept in the refrigerator can be frozen, but preferably within two to three days. If it is kept longer, then bacteria growth is possible, which will be trapped in the soup and activated when it is thawed. The length of time a soup can be chilled before freezing does depend on the ingredients in the soup.
Should you refrigerate soup before freezing it?
It is possible, but not necessary, to refrigerate soup before freezing. What you must do, though, is to allow soup to cool before freezing it.
You may find it useful to cool the soup down entirely in the fridge before freezing it, which means you can refrigerate it briefly before putting it into the freezer.
Can you freeze soup when it’s still warm?
The easy answer is ‘no’ because you cannot risk raising the freezer’s temperature. After all, this can affect all frozen food quality and health.
Can you put hot soup directly in the freezer?
If you put anything hot directly into the freezer, the heat will affect the temperature in the freezer and may even cause some of the ice to thaw a little, which is to be avoided, as you cannot refreeze food after thawing it.
Soup will not react well to sudden changes in temperature because this affects the ingredients, and the result may be unhealthy. You must allow the soup to cool completely in the room before putting it into either the fridge or freezer.
This won’t take more than an hour, after which the soup must be put into the fridge or freezer.
How long can you keep soup in the fridge before freezing?
When you freeze soup, you should try to put it into smaller containers, which is not always possible to do immediately. This is when the soup should be put into the fridge before freezing it.
However, no food lasts well for a long time in the fridge, and you will need to freeze the soup within days of refrigerating it if you want to freeze it at all.
Can you freeze soup after two or three days?
Most soups can be frozen after two or three days, during which time they will not have become susceptible to bacteria. If you are not going to freeze the soup, then you must use it after three days.
Soups that are based on milk or cream should not be kept in the fridge longer than about 2 days and should not be frozen.
When you freeze soup after two or three days, take it straight from the fridge, pour it into smaller containers, and then put these into the freezer immediately. Do not let the soup warm-up at all if possible.
Some soups can be reheated when they are still fresh or reheated after a day or so in the fridge. This soup must not be frozen at all.
Does it matter if you freeze soup after four, five, or even six days?
Some soup can be frozen after 4 or more days, but this does depend on the ingredients. The best rule of thumb is to avoid keeping soup in the fridge for longer than four days at the very longest before freezing.
Broths or clear soups can be frozen after four or five days, but definitely no longer. Soups containing meat must not be frozen after four days. In fact, if these soups are in the fridge that long, they must be used rather than left for longer.
Soups that are cream or milk-based cannot be frozen after longer than three days. In fact, you should try to avoid freezing these soups, as the dairy product may separate or curdle.
How long can you keep frozen soup in the freezer?
Ideally, you should not keep soup in the freezer for longer than three months, although it can be frozen for up to six months.
Soup that is frozen for a long time can form crystals, and the taste can be affected.
Can you eat soup that has been frozen for a year?
Bacteria cannot grow below freezing, so theoretically, soup that has been frozen for a year can be eaten. However, if the soup has developed freezer burn or too many ice crystals have been formed, then the taste will be affected, and you may wish you’d eaten it earlier.
The problem with keeping soup in the freezer for this long is that you don’t always know if the temperature has been consistent all the time. It is possible that the power went off for certain periods, which may cause the soup to thaw, even slightly.
Can you eat soup that has been frozen for two years?
Soup will actually last in the freezer for two years. However, freezer burn is a potential problem. It is also more likely that there may have been even a slight thaw during that time, which could introduce the risk of bacteria into the soup.
When you thaw soup after two years, the flavor will likely be adversely affected. Some of the ingredients may not reconstitute well, such as potatoes that can be stodgy.
Does freezing soup ruin it?
Generally, freezing soup will not ruin it at all. In fact, it can prolong the life of the soup and the times you can enjoy it. However, this also depends on the ingredients.
Soups based on dairy products generally do thaw well, as the milk or cream can separate and be unappetizing. A potato-based soup can be stodgy after freezing.
Broths and clear soups are not usually affected by freezing and can easily be thawed and heated.
Soups must be entirely chilled before being frozen, or you may not have time to prepare soup to be frozen immediately after cooking. In these cases, the soup should be refrigerated before freezing. However, not for longer than three days, although vegetable soups and broths can be kept for up to four days.