What is better in the winter than a hot bowl of vegetable soup? It warms you to your very core and is delicious. However, is it possible to freeze it? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s certainly worth your while making a big batch of vegetable soup and freezing it (see also Can You Freeze Mushroom Soup) so that you can have a hot meal without having to do too much more work. However, there are guidelines you need to follow so that you get the same soup after freezing (see also How To Freeze Tomato Soup) as you had before.
You can, in fact, freeze any type of soup (see also Freezing Lentil Soup), but vegetable soup is a little more difficult to freeze than a smooth soup like tomato soup. You have to be careful not to overcook the vegetables so that they don’t lose their crunch. A good idea is to slightly undercook the vegetables. This will mean that when you reheat the vegetable soup after freezing, the vegetables will finish cooking and won’t end up mushy (see also Can You Freeze French Onion Soup?).
If you want to put herbs into your vegetable soup, it is better that you do this after it has been frozen and defrosted. The best thing to do is to separate the soup you plan to eat now from the soup you are going to freeze (see also Is Freezing Gazpacho A Good Idea?). Adding the herbs when it is being reheated after freezing livens up the flavor of your soup.
If your vegetable soup contains dairy products, you can keep it for up to three months in the freezer. If your vegetable soup just contains stock and no cream, milk, or yogurt, you can keep it in the freezer for up to six months. Of course, the sooner you defrost it, the better it will taste. It won’t go off if you leave the soup in the freezer for longer, but it may lose some flavor.
Freezing Vegetable Soup
You need to cool down the vegetable soup before you freeze it. If you don’t put it in the freezer while it is still warm, it can bring the temperature up in the freezer and other food will start to defrost. It isn’t good to defrost and then refreeze as this can cause bacteria to form on the food. For speed, it is best to take the soup out of the hot pan and put it in a container that has an airtight lid. You can also use a Ziploc bag or a vacuum seal bag. If you use a bag, make sure that you squeeze all the air out of the bag to stop freezer burn from occurring. This isn’t detrimental to your health but it can alter the taste of the soup. If you use an airtight container, leave an inch of space at the top to allow the soup to expand. Make sure that you don’t keep the soup at room temperature for longer than two hours as that’s when there is a chance for bacteria to develop.
Before you put the container or bag in the freezer, write on the freezing date with a marker. It’s all too easy to forget when you freeze food, especially if you freeze a lot of items. You don’t want to keep them way beyond their best-by date.
Defrosting Vegetable Soup
When it comes to defrosting vegetable soup, the best thing to do is to put it in the fridge overnight and let it thaw slowly. Then it will be ready to heat up for lunch in a matter of minutes. If there is no dairy in the soup, you can defrost it in the microwave even if it is completely frozen. This is a good fix if you are in a hurry and want a quick meal. Put the heat on medium and check every 10 seconds. Stir each time when the soup starts to become liquid.
You can fix the soup if it has split or the ingredients have clumped together. Just whisk it while gradually adding half a cup of stock. If the soup is dairy-based, use milk or cream instead.
Vegetable soup can be frozen as can be seen, but it is better to undercook the vegetables before freezing so they don’t become mushy. It is easy to finish cooking the vegetables when the soup has been thawed. If you have large chunks of vegetables in your soup, it is a good idea to freeze the vegetables separately from the liquid soup. Mix them together when they have defrosted and then heat. With all this knowledge, you can easily have a quick meal when you haven’t the time to cook from scratch.