When it comes to wintery weather, one of the consolation prizes is cream soup. We tend to avoid it in warmer weather for obvious reasons, but cream soup can turn the most horrible day into a better one.
But what if you make too much? Can you freeze it?
Luckily, most soups can be frozen. Having said that, soups which have a lot of cream may not freeze correctly (see also Freezing Mushroom Soup), and can go through changes in flavor or consistency during the freezing and thawing process.
The soup can separate, the flavor could be weaker, and some of the ingredients may clump together.
Cream soups separate so readily because they emulsify when they are cooked. Proteins within the soup bond together, which stops the water molecules from separating from the fat.
Freezing cream-based soup (see also Freezing Potato Soup) can render the soup gritty, with a nasty consistency or taste, and this applies both for the soup you make from scratch, and the kind you can buy in a store.
Tips And Tricks To Help You Freeze Cream Soups Properly
If the soup has a much lower fat content, it is much more likely to split once it defrosts, as the fat is what stops the majority from separating.
If you’re making the soup yourself, hold off on adding skimmed milk. Use milk which has a higher fat content, such as full fat milk, or a substitute.
You can also avoid this by holding off adding the cream until it has defrosted. This means you’ll avoid most of the risk of the soup separating, and any separated ingredients you’ll be able to stir back in with no trouble.
If you’ve already got the cream soup to hand, however, and it needs freezing, you still need to prepare it properly before you freeze it.
The Shelf Life Of Cream Soups
Depending on the ingredients, cream soup should last about 3 or 4 days, maximum.
You can extend the shelf life of cream soups by freezing it, in which case they can last for 6 months or even longer.
How Do You Freeze Cream Soups?
Freezing Homemade Cream Soup
Make sure the soup has cooled completely before attempting to freeze it! If you haven’t added the cream yet, hold off on doing so until it has thawed, and you want to reheat it.
This will help save the soup’s flavor and texture, as the rest of the ingredients should freeze absolutely fine.
When the soup is cold, get some freezer bags or rigid airtight containers.
Ladle as necessary into however many portions you think you’ll need, making sure to leave some room at the top of the container for the soup to expand.
Seal, label, and freeze the soup.
Freezing Leftover Or Store-Bought Cream Soup
Make sure that the soup is stone-cold. Grab a plastic container that won’t warp during the freezing process, one which is leak-proof. Ladle the soup into the container, and seal tightly.
Label with the storage date, and freeze.
How Do You Defrost And Reheat Cream Soups?
The slower you defrost cream soup, the better it will be once it is thawed. Less separation will occur, making for a better soup.
Simply remove the container from the freezer and put it straight into the fridge, and leave it overnight to defrost.
When you want to reheat the soup, you’re better off doing it on the hob. Reheat it on a very low heat, and stir frequently so it neither burns nor separates.
If the soup has turned out to be too runny, you can fix this with cornstarch. Measure half a tablespoon of cornstarch into water, and once it has dissolved, pour the whole thing into the soup to thicken it.
If you haven’t yet added any cream to your soup, add it as you gently reheat it.
You can use the microwave to reheat the soup if you prefer, but it’s not recommended adding cream to this, as it may curdle if it gets too hot, too quickly.
Transfer the soup into a bowl which will survive the microwave, and set it to high and cook for 20 seconds. Stir it, and heat again for another 20 seconds if it’s not hot enough.
Cream soup is a fabulous dish, one of the most comforting foods you can have during winter, which will warm you up and cheer you up pretty much straight away.
It’s worth making from scratch, and because you can freeze it, why not make a huge batch, so you can save yourself time, effort and money for future-you?
If you hold off on adding the cream before you freeze it (see also Should You Freeze Cream?), and then add it once the soup has thawed, you’ll hardly notice a difference between fresh and thawed cream soup, all the while preventing food waste.