Soup is among the easiest and healthiest foods to prepare, especially during sickness and chilly days. It is also packed with vitamins and minerals.
It is easy to prepare most of them in a single pot, and the longer they simmer, the richer the flavor. Making soup in bulk makes a lot of sense.
Although this method allows you to prepare healthy meals for your family and yourself in advance, it does present some storage challenges, especially for soups based on cream.
So, can you freeze cream soups? Yes, The good thing about cream soups is that they can be frozen for a quick and healthy meal at a later time. Defrosting it, however, increases the chances of it changing the taste and texture because it is a cream base.
Keep reading to learn how cream soups react when frozen and what the best way is to freeze them!
What Happens When You Freeze Cream Soups?
Cream soups, which are made with milk, are an emulsion of proteins that prevent fat molecules from separating from water molecules.
The components of cream soups separate when they are frozen, disrupting their bonds.
Due to this, cream soup loses its smooth texture when defrosted and instead develops a grainy texture. Regardless of whether it is homemade or store-bought.
There is, however, a direct correlation between the likelihood of cream soup splitting and its fat content.
In this case, low-fat cream and dairy products should not be used in soups that are intended for freezing.
How to Freeze Cream Soups
To keep cream soup fresh for long periods, it’s best to freeze it at 0°F and store it at that temperature for up to six months.
Step-by-step instructions for freezing cream soups are provided here:
- You must completely cool cream soups before freezing them. Irrespective of whether you’re reheating a store-bought or homemade soup, this step is essential.
- Using an airtight plastic container or freezer-safe plastic bag, you can now store the soup once it has cooled.
- Depending on how much freezer space you have and how thin your soup is, you may wish to use freezer-safe bags. Although it may be difficult to pour the soup into the bags, make sure to leave adequate space for expansion, and do not puncture them.
- When your soup is thick and contains several large ingredients, it is best to store it in an airtight container.
- Whatever you decide, make sure that the soup has been cooled down properly and will expand properly once it is frozen.
- Place the bags or containers in the freezer after properly sealing them, labeling them with the date.
- Defrosting only what is needed will make it easier to store the cream soup in smaller batches.
Helpful Tips for Freezing Cream Soups
Tips and tricks for freezing cream soups can help you make the most of your frozen meal and avoid any drastic flavor or texture changes.
The initial reason for separated cream soup is simply because the fat within the dairy has separated from the mixture and created a layer on top.
Even though this may look unattractive visually, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s spoiled and needs to be thrown away.
Make the most of your frozen cream soups by following these steps to avoid the visual mess:
- If you wish to freeze your soup, leave out the cream (or other dairy products). After defrosting and reheating, add the cream afterwards. The soup will not only prevent splitting, but will also taste fresh and creamy.
- It is possible to reconstitute the soup with the help of arrowroot or agar-agar, if you are not able to omit cream from the soup before freezing. To add arrowroot or agar-agar into the soup while it is being reheated, prepare a thin slurry by mixing equal parts of the two powders. If you add too much of the mixture, the soup will become gelatinous and thick.
- Reheat your cream soup in the blender if it separates during the reheating process. To achieve the desired texture, you can also whisk it by hand.
Adding cream soups to a freezer includes the following:
- Frozen herbs should not be added. They should be added after the soup has been reheated.
- Using fresh boiled pasta when reheating soup, or removing pasta before freezing.
- Take special care when freezing certain potatoes in your cream soup, as they tend to soak up water and fall apart.
- Adding green vegetables, such as peas or beans, to your cream soup before reheating could make them mushy. Avoid adding them during reheating.
Having learned everything about freezing cream soups and getting them defrosted, here is information on how to thaw and reheat them.
Can you freeze soups with milk?
Unlike milk and cream, which go through similar processing, milk and cream are not the best choices when it comes to maintaining their shape and texture when frozen.
When frozen, milk and cream separate, and the texture of defrosted and reheated soup is grainy. Thus, milk soups need to be frozen in a similar way to cream soups.
How do you defrost and reheat frozen cream soups?
If you must defrost or reheat frozen cream soups, you should do it slowly and carefully to minimize separations, and to avoid any major changes in structure or texture.
Allow the cream soup to thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours, preferably overnight.
After defrosting, you may reheat it in either a microwave or over a stove. The ingredients should be reheated on the stove if they have separated, in order to combine them again.
For the stovetop method, take out the defrosted soup in a saucepan and simmer it on low heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Do not put it on high flame.
If you feel the soup is too runny, you can thicken it with agar-agar powder, arrowroot, or cornstarch diluted in water.
Adding cream at this point would be a good idea if you frozen the soup without it. Simmer the soup for a few minutes until the cream is well incorporated.
In a microwave, heat the defrosted soup on high for 20 seconds after pouring it into a microwave-safe bowl. Gently stir the soup, then repeat if needed.
How do you add cream to hot soup?
It makes any soup taste and feel rich, whether it is the popular mushroom soup or a nice bowl of chowder with cream.
It is essential to be extremely careful when adding dairy products to soups, as you run the risk of the cream curdling in the soup.
You should never add cream to boiling soup, as it will curdle.
Mix the cream slowly with the soup while stirring the heat to low. To get the desired taste and consistency, measure out the cream and add as much as you need.
If necessary, you may add more if it is not to your satisfaction. Taste it to ensure that you are satisfied with the taste and texture. Serve hot out of serving bowls after turning off the stove.
How long does cream soup last in the fridge?
Up to 3 days can pass before soups with cream and other dairy products go bad in the fridge. Soups made with seafood might need only 1-2 days depending on the ingredients.
If the soup does not have cream in it, it can last for up to a week, depending on what is in it, and how it is stored.