Yes, You Can Freeze Most Creamy Soups — But Always Follow This One Rule (2024)

Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

Andrea Rivera WawrzynAssociate Food Editor, The Kitchn

Andrea is the Associate Food Editor at The Kitchn. She is a lifelong chef and full-time clog enthusiast. Her passions include grabbing more books at the library than she can read in the time allotted and the relentless pursuit of the perfect burrito. She lives in Salem, MA with her husband and two cats.

published Mar 1, 2024

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Yes, You Can Freeze Most Creamy Soups — But Always Follow This One Rule (1)

Making a big batch of soup with leftovers to freeze can be a meal-prepper’s dream. An easy-to-reheat lunch (or dinner) that’s just as tasty reheated as when you first cooked it? Yes please. However, not all soups are created equal. Knowing which soups work best for the freezer can be tricky. Creamy potato soup in particular is one that no one can seem to agree on. So, can you freeze potato soup? You sure can!

But because potato soup can become a broken, grainy mess once thawed, you’ll need to makea few easy tweaks. Read on for some simple steps you can take to avoid your soup from becoming sad when you reheat it.

How to Freeze Potato Soup

1. Choose the right recipe.

The freezing and thawing process can affect the texture of ingredients that are kept whole in a soup, like noodles or chunks of vegetables. Potatoes are very starchy and can turn mushy when defrosted. An easy way to avoid that is to opt for a soup recipe with puréed potatoes instead of chunks.

2. Hold back the dairy from creamy soups.

Dairy does not freeze well. Freezing damages the fat molecules, which can make your soup split and become grainy when defrosted. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple solution: Just omit the dairy when initially preparing the soup. Most recipes for creamy soup add the dairy towards the end of cooking anyway. In this case, the best way to reheat your frozen soup base is on the stovetop (more on reheating below). Add the dairy (milk, cream, etc.) to your soup base when you reheat it. You’d never know it hit the freezer at all!

3. Let it cool down completely.

Don’t be tempted to skip this step. Not only does it help prevent freezer burn, but it also lowers the risk for foodborne illness.

4. Keep it airtight.

Air is the enemy of frozen food, allowing its moisture room to escape (aka freezer burn) and watering down your soup when it’s thawed. A great option for storing frozen soup is a zipper-lock freezer bag. You can press most of the air out of the bag and it saves space in the freezer.

How Long Can Potato Soup Be Frozen?

Potato soup that has been frozen properly can last in the freezer for up to three months.

How to Thaw and Reheat Frozen Potato Soup

  • Most frozen food is best thawed in the refrigerator, and potato soup is no different. If you froze the soup flat in a freezer bag, it will defrost quickly. Place the bag on a plate or small rimmed baking sheet in case of leaks. If frozen in a plastic or glass container, you can thaw it in the microwave, as long as the container is microwave-safe.
  • Although you could reheat your soup in a microwave-safe container in the microwave, if you’re adding dairy, the stovetop is a great option. This lets you closely monitor the soup once the milk, cream, and/or cheese are stirred in.
  • Before serving, add some toppings. The freezing process can dull flavor; toppings like bacon bits, shredded cheese, or chopped herbs can add freshness and depth of flavor to your soup and bring it back to life. Don’t forget to taste the soup when reheating and adjust seasonings as necessary.

What Happens to Soup When You Freeze It?

When food is frozen, ice crystals form within its cells. As these crystals are forming, they grow and burst the cell walls that give foods their structure and texture. Because the ingredients in soup are already fully cooked, they have the advantage of the cell walls already beginning to break down through the cooking process and possibly also being puréed in a blender or food processor. Additionally, soup tends to cook for a long-ish period of time(as opposed to something cooked relatively quickly, like eggs), which means the cells have more time to break down.

Soup freezes particularly well because you’re not typically looking for crunch when you eat it. As long as you take the proper precautions to manage ingredients (read: dairy) that don’t do well in the freezer, your soup will emerge from the freezer as delicious as the day you made it!

Yes, You Can Freeze Most Creamy Soups — But Always Follow This One Rule (2024)
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