Can You Freeze Lentil Soup?

Lentil soup is quick, easy to make, and nutritious. The only downside is that portioning lentil soup can be tricky, and it’s very easy to make too much of it. 

Luckily, you can freeze lentil soup without any dramatic changes in texture or flavor, though you might notice some difference between fresh lentil soup and thawed lentil soup. 

How Do You Freeze Lentil Soup?

You can freeze lentil soup which has been freshly made, and those leftovers which you know you won’t use before they go out of date. 

The method is the same, but one thing you must make sure that you do is let the soup go completely cold before you try to freeze it. 

Once it’s cold, it’s a good idea to let it sit in the fridge for half an hour, or longer if you can spare it. Bringing the temperature down will help preserve the consistency of the lentil soup, as well as its flavor.

While you’re waiting, get your containers ready. You can freeze soup in freezer bags which are suitable for liquids, or rigid containers.

Rigid containers ensure there’s no risk of accidentally bursting the soup bag and making a mess, and they also make defrosting and reheating easier, but they do take up more room than freezer bags. 

Take the soup out of the fridge, and grab a ladle. Decant the soup into your container of choice, taking care not to spill any! 

If you choose a freezer bag, only fill the container halfway, as this makes sealing and freezing it much easier. Just make sure to get rid of any excess air before you seal them, label them, and freeze them.

You can also use a mixture of a large freezer bag and container or ice cube trays, depending on how much soup you want to freeze, to make portioning easier. Divide the soup between the trays, and flash freeze them. 

Once the soup has frozen solid, transfer the soup into a resealable freezer bag, label it, and freeze it.  

Lentil soup will last for a maximum of 6 months within the freezer, but for the best flavor and consistency possible, thaw and use the soup within a month of freezing it.

How To Get Freezing Lentil Soup Right The First Time

While lentil soup is easy enough to freeze, there are some tricks you can use to help preserve the consistency and the flavor of the soup, especially if you’re planning to store the soup in the freezer for a relatively long time. 

Wait Until It’s Completely Cool

This tip is the most important of all. You need to make sure that the soup is completely cool before you try to freeze it. 

Not only will freezing warm or hot soup affect its texture and flavor, it risks making it unsafe to eat, as well as potentially breaking your freezer or defrosting other items within the freezer.

The residual heat can cause the food in your freezer to start defrosting, making that unsafe to eat, too.

Freezing food when it has completely cooled also helps elongate the shelf life, as freezing food which isn’t cold can disrupt the shelf life, even causing it to go off when you reheat it.

If you don’t have a lot of time for the soup to cool, you can prepare a large bowl of ice water, and put the cooking pot in there to speed up the process. It also helps if you stir the soup, which will make it cool down a little more evenly. 

Pack The Container Properly

Whenever you’re packing food for freezing, it’s tempting to fill it to the absolute top of the container, but avoid doing this. 

Food which contains any sort of liquid content will expand as the moisture freezes, and in the case of a completely full container, this will end up with the container breaking and scattering food all over your freezer drawer. 

Don’t be tempted to under-fill your container, either. This is a surefire way to make sure your food gets freezer burn, as there’s too much air in the container, and this will mean changes in the texture and flavor of your lentil soup. 

Different Lentils Freeze Differently

It’s worth mentioning that different types of lentils freeze slightly differently. Green lentils tend to freeze a little better than brown lentils, as there’s a much lower moisture content, meaning that green lentils keep their texture much more easily.

Part Cook The Lentils

With most foods, you can get away with part-cooking the food when you know you’ll need to reheat it once it’s thawed. 

In fact, it’s better to do so in the case of lentil soup. The lentils will retain their texture much better when they defrost, and it stops them getting extremely mushy once you’ve reheated the soup. 

That’s only helpful if you are making the whole batch to freeze it ahead of time. If you’re planning on serving some now, cook it as normal.

How To Thaw And Reheat Lentil Soup

The best way to thaw lentil soup is to take it out of the freezer and put it straight into the fridge. It will take the best part of overnight to thaw, but the slower the process, the better the texture and the flavor will be preserved. 

Once it’s thawed, and you’re ready to reheat it, take it out of the fridge and transfer it into a non-stick pan. Put it over a very low heat, stirring as you go, and gradually turn up the heat until it’s piping hot and ready to serve.

Do not refreeze leftovers. Make sure to only defrost as much as you need, so you don’t end up with food waste.

Conclusion

Lentil soup is perfect for those wintery dinner times when you want something hearty and warming. It makes it easier that you can prepare it ahead of time and freeze some for a later date, preventing food waste while also saving you money.

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