Soup is quite literally, food for the soul. It’s always handy to have some precooked and frozen soup at hand, especially if you are living a busy life outside the kitchen.
Tired after a busy day at work? Take out a container of hearty minestrone soup. Feeling under the weather? Chicken noodle soup is for you. Depending on the kind of soup you have, pair it with a side of salad and some crusty bread to make a meal out of it.
Soups are versatile. You can do a lot with them. The best thing is that they freeze and thaw out well. However, sometimes when you reheat the frozen soup, they turn out bad especially when you use a microwave.
But don’t worry I’ve got all the secrets right here in this article to help you freeze and reheat your soups better.
How to reheat frozen soup in the microwave?
Reheating frozen soup in the microwave is done in 5 simple steps:
- Take the container of frozen soup out of the microwave.
- Partially remove the lid to allow steam to escape
- Microwave in 2-minute intervals, while using a wooden spoon to break the icy soup block between each interval until the soup reaches a slushy consistency.
- Add some more stock/ water or any other liquid.
- Continue heating in 2-minute intervals, stirring well in between each one until the soup is piping hot.
While this may seem the best way (who doesn’t like their work done in 5 steps) I would personally prefer using a microwave to thaw out my soup and then proceeding to reheat it on the stovetop.
That being said, it doesn’t mean reheating soup in the microwave isn’t possible, I just feel that using a stovetop for reheating soup gives me better control over it.
How long does it take to heat frozen soup in the microwave?
Well, that would depend on what state your soup was in. Was it frozen solid or was it left to defrost overnight?
Frozen soup would take a longer reheating time in the microwave than thawed soup.
Also, the reheating time would vary on the quantity of the soup.
Generally, start by heating the soup for 2-3 minutes, making sure to stir in between, and increase the time as needed.
How do you defrost frozen soup in the microwave?
You have two options for defrosting your frozen soups before you set out to reheat them in the microwave.
- Leave your frozen soup container in the refrigerator overnight.
- Place the frozen soup container directly from the freezer in the microwave.
What you choose is entirely up to you. Somedays you plan ahead and can leave your frozen soup to defrost in the refrigerator, other times you might find yourself under a sudden cold spell and crave instant homemade soup.
Both ways work equally well, I just find that direct defrosting in the microwave is a bit more labor and time-intensive.
Defrosting soup in the microwave:
Follow the steps below to efficiently defrost your soup in the microwave:
- Set your microwave to the defrost or lowest setting.
- Allow it to defrost in the microwave for only 2-3 minutes at a time since microwaving it for too long can cause it to overcook.
- Defrost the frozen soup in small amounts of time, turning the container or stirring it each time the microwave stops.
A word of caution, however, if you have frozen your soup in a plastic container/freezer bag avoid thawing it in the microwave, unless it is otherwise marked as microwave safe. When plastic is heated, it can leach chemicals into your food.
Also, proceed with caution when you have frozen soup in glass jars. Placing the glass container directly from the freezer to the microwave will subject the glass to extreme temperature changes and may cause the glass to crack.
Now you are probably thinking, what is a person to do when I can’t use glass or plastic to reheat my frozen soup in the microwave.
Well, I’m gonna answer that one for you right there, defrost a day before in the fridge then keep in the microwave. But of course, I agree that’s the ideal situation and won’t work every time.
How to effectively defrost frozen soup for reheating?
Ah yes, the conundrum of having to defrost soup without using glass or plastic containers in the microwave.
I’ve noticed that when the soup is frozen in glass containers, it will not pop out as easily as it does from plastic containers, so it needs extra time for thawing. But what if you don’t have extra time to spare?
In that case, choose to use the following options:
- Place the soup in its container in a warm water bath until it is fully thawed and then proceed to microwave it to reheat.
- The other option is to immerse the container in warm water to loosen the frozen soups from the sides. Then pop it out into a microwave-safe bowl or dish and continue to defrost in the microwave, stirring occasionally to keep the soup from burning.
- The ideal method, which of course depends on how much time you have on your hands, is to place the frozen container of soup in the fridge overnight before you want to use it.
- You can speed up your refrigerator thaw time by putting your frozen food on an aluminum pan.
How Long Is Frozen Soup Good For After Thawing?
According to the USDA, foods should be promptly frozen within 2 hours of being cooked to be classified as safe to eat when reheated. Never leave any food at room temperature for thawing.
Thawing in your refrigerator is the safest way to go. Frozen soup, once defrosted can be kept for 3-4 days in a refrigerator.
How to freeze soups for better reheating? Bonus tips:
Ever froze your favorite soup with the hope of enjoying it later, only to realize it had given up on you while reheating? Freezing doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Now you don’t have to face the disappointment of watching your favorite soups curdle, turn mushy and gummy when you reheat them. Learn how to prepare each type of soup for freezing correctly to get perfect results when you set out to reheat it.
- Dairy-based soups: Soups that require the addition of dairy products like cream or milk don’t hold well when defrosted and tend to turn into a grainy texture.
- To avoid getting this grainy texture, hold off on the dairy products. Freeze the soup without adding cream or milk and only add it in when reheating is done and the soup is back to its liquid consistency.
- Grain/Pasta-based soups: Soups that contain grains or pasta don’t retain their texture as well and tend to turn gummy when defrosted. You would be better off freezing the broth separately and only adding the pasta/grains by boiling them fresh after the soup has done reheating.
- Potato-based soups: Potatoes, in general, don’t freeze well in any situation. I would suggest avoiding freezing any potato soups because it turns gummy when defrosted.
- Veggie-based soups: Veggies in soups, when frozen tend to lose their taste and structure when reheated because they can get overcooked pretty quickly. When planning to freeze a big batch of vegetable-based soup, I discovered a nifty little trick that involves undercooking the veggies a bit before adding to your soup so they don’t get overdone while being reheated.
Having soup ready to eat in your freezer is like having gold. You never know when it might come in handy. Getting it ready to eat from a frozen state can sometimes prove to be a challenge if you don’t know the correct way.
While tossing it into a microwave might seem a simple and quick solution. I would only recommend it for defrosting smaller batches of frozen soup as it can be a bit time-consuming when you have a larger quantity of soup at hand to defrost.
For bigger batches that need to be reheated, either defrost by keeping it in the refrigerator overnight, or use the microwave to defrost and then reheat on a stovetop.