Warm, hearty, and comforting, soup is one of the most cooked dishes in the world. This dish is very diverse in terms of ingredients and cooking methods. You can practically use any ingredients you have on hand.
No wonder we can find countless variations of this comfort food.
Soup also happens to be one of the most popular make-ahead meals. You can double, triple, or quadruple your grandma’s recipe, put some away in the fridge and enjoy it during cold days.
Aside from gazpacho and other cold types, soup is best served hot off the stove. In that case, you’d better know how to reheat it properly. More importantly, you might be wondering if it is safe to reheat the soup.
Don’t worry, and you’ll find all the information you need here. This article will guide you through the safe practices of storing and reheating all types of soup. So, keep reading!
How To Safely Store Soup
The key to storing and reheating soup safely is to cool rapidly, so it will be sitting in the fridge promptly, ideally within 1 to 2 hours after cooking. The ideal refrigerator temperature to safely store food is below 40 F. Check the temperature periodically.
If you cook a huge batch, you can divide and transfer it into several shallow containers. This way, the soup will cool more quickly than when it’s placed in a larger container.
Another method to speed up the cooling process is to chill it in an ice-water bath before refrigerating.
How Long Does Soup Last in The Fridge?
As a rule of thumb, leftover soup can last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Vegetable-based types with high acidity, for example, tomato soup, can stay longer for up to 5 to 7 days. But, it is always a great idea to smell and check your leftovers before reheating.
Here is an overview of the average shelf life of soup in the refrigerator.
|Homemade Soup or Commercially-prepared (opened)- Vegetable – Chicken / Chicken noodle – Minestrone- French onion- Wonton- Clam chowder, corn chowder- Cream-based (mushroom, celery, asparagus)- Thick pea soup- Borscht (Russian beet soup)- Miso and tofu soup||3 to 4 days|
|Tomato soup (canned, opened)||5 to 7 days|
|Tom yum and seafood soup||2 to 3 days|
Can You Reheat Soup Safely?
Soup is one of the easiest leftovers to reheat, whether in the microwave or stovetop. Either way, it should reach a safe temperature of 165 F or bring it to a rolling boil. (*)
If you forgot to refrigerate it promptly or left it out overnight, it is best to discard it. In that case, reheating won’t make it safe to eat.
For frozen soup, you should thaw it in advance before reheating. Don’t leave it at room temperature for too long, mainly if it contains perishable ingredients such as meat, chicken, or dairy.
To thaw safely, you have 3 options:
- In the fridge
- In the microwave
- In cold water
After thawing, you can proceed with reheating it in the microwave or on a stove—more on the detailed instructions below.
Method 1: How to Heat Up Soup in A Microwave
Let’s start with this easy peasy method because microwaving might be everyone’s go-to method to reheat any kind of leftovers.
Here is how to warm up soup quickly in a microwave.
1. Place a portion in a bowl or a suitable container.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and poke some holes to allow the steam to escape.
3. Microwave on medium power for 30 to 60 seconds. If it has a thick consistency, stir it once or twice to distribute the heat evenly.
4. After reheating time has elapsed, check if it is reheated thoroughly. If not, return it to the microwave and reheat in shorter intervals of 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat if necessary.
Method 2: Reheating Soup On A Stovetop
Unlike a microwave, which is suitable to warm up a small portion, you can reheat several servings on a stovetop at a time. Therefore, it is perfect when you need to feed your family.
If you have frozen creamy soup, it is better to thaw it in advance because the cream tends to burn faster.
Here is our step-to-step instruction how to reheat soup on the stove:
1. Optional: To optimize the quality, you can remove noodles, pasta, or vegetables from the soup. Add them back later when the liquid has come to a boil. This way, you won’t end up with overcooked, mushy vegetables and pasta.
2. In a large pot, pour the liquid and cover the pot with a fitting lid.
3. Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
4. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat, add the other components and simmer for a few minutes until everything is thoroughly reheated.
Take Away Messages
In a nutshell, there are three points to take into account to reheat leftover soup safely. First, refrigerate or freeze it promptly within 1 to 2 hours after cooking. Second, thaw it safely in the refrigerator, microwave, or in cold water. Third, reheat to 165 F or bring it to a boil.
It is best to reheat as much as you need for one sitting and leave the remaining cold. Follow our tips and ultimate guide on storing and reheating soup so it stays safe and delicious!
Don’t forget to check these chicken noodle soup sides to serve with your soup in general.