3 Ways To Store Cooked Soup & Tips

by Ella

Soup is a comforting and versatile dish enjoyed by many cultures around the world. Whether it’s a hearty vegetable soup, a savory chicken noodle soup, or a creamy tomato bisque, cooked soups are a convenient meal option that can be prepared in advance and enjoyed throughout the week. Proper storage is key to maintaining the freshness, flavor, and safety of cooked soup. In this article, we’ll explore the best practices for storing cooked soup to ensure its quality and safety, providing valuable tips and guidelines for home cooks.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Storage:

Cooked soup, like any perishable food item, requires proper storage to maintain its quality and safety. Improper storage can lead to spoilage, bacterial growth, and foodborne illness. By following recommended storage practices, home cooks can prolong the shelf life of cooked soup and reduce the risk of contamination.


Several factors contribute to the spoilage of cooked soup, including temperature, air exposure, and bacterial contamination. Storing soup at the correct temperature slows down bacterial growth, while minimizing air exposure helps prevent oxidation and flavor degradation. Additionally, using clean and airtight containers reduces the risk of cross-contamination and ensures the integrity of the soup.


In this article, we’ll cover various methods for storing cooked soup, including refrigeration, freezing, and canning, along with tips for selecting appropriate containers and maximizing storage space. Whether you’re preparing a large batch of soup for future meals or saving leftovers from a homemade feast, these storage techniques will help preserve the freshness and flavor of your favorite soups.


3 Ways To Store Cooked Soup

1. Refrigeration:

Refrigeration is the most common method for storing cooked soup in the short term, typically for up to 3-4 days. Proper refrigeration slows down bacterial growth and helps maintain the quality of the soup. Follow these steps for storing cooked soup in the refrigerator:


Allow the Soup to Cool: Before storing cooked soup in the refrigerator, allow it to cool to room temperature. Placing hot soup directly in the refrigerator can raise the temperature inside and increase the risk of bacterial growth.

Use Airtight Containers: Transfer the cooled soup to clean, airtight containers. Glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids are ideal for storing soup in the refrigerator. Avoid using metal containers, as they can impart a metallic taste to the soup.

Label and Date: To keep track of freshness, label the containers with the type of soup and the date it was prepared. This helps prevent confusion and ensures that you use the soup within the recommended storage time.

Store in the Coldest Part of the Refrigerator: Place the containers of soup in the coldest part of the refrigerator, such as the back or bottom shelf. Avoid storing soup in the refrigerator door, as the temperature fluctuates more frequently.

Reheat Safely: When reheating refrigerated soup, ensure it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any bacteria present. Use a stovetop, microwave, or slow cooker to reheat the soup gradually, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.

See Also: Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe 

3. Freezing:

Freezing is an excellent long-term storage option for cooked soup, allowing you to enjoy homemade soups weeks or even months later. Properly frozen soup can maintain its quality, flavor, and nutritional value for an extended period. Follow these steps for freezing cooked soup:

Cool the Soup Completely: Allow the cooked soup to cool completely before freezing. Rapid cooling helps preserve the texture and flavor of the soup and prevents the formation of ice crystals.

Choose Freezer-Safe Containers: Use freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags for storing soup in the freezer. Ensure the containers are airtight and leak-proof to prevent freezer burn and contamination.

Leave Room for Expansion: Leave some space at the top of the containers or bags to allow for expansion as the soup freezes. Liquids expand when frozen, and insufficient space can cause containers to crack or burst.

Label and Date: Label the containers or bags with the type of soup and the date it was prepared. Proper labeling helps you identify the contents and track the storage time.

Freeze Flat: If using freezer bags, lay them flat on a baking sheet or tray to freeze. Once frozen, they can be stacked to save space in the freezer.

Store Properly: Place the containers or bags of soup in the coldest part of the freezer, such as the back or bottom shelf. Avoid storing soup near the freezer door, where temperatures fluctuate more frequently.

Thaw Safely: When ready to enjoy the frozen soup, thaw it safely in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on a microwave. Avoid thawing soup at room temperature, as this increases the risk of bacterial growth.

See Also: Chinese-Style Sweet Corn Soup Recipe

3. Canning:

Canning is a preservation method that allows you to store cooked soup at room temperature for an extended period. However, canning requires specific equipment and techniques to ensure the safety and quality of the soup. Follow these steps for canning cooked soup:

Choose Appropriate Recipes: Select recipes specifically designed for canning, as not all soups are suitable for this preservation method. Follow tested recipes from reputable sources, such as the USDA or Ball Canning.

Prepare Jars and Lids: Wash canning jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water, and rinse thoroughly. Inspect jars for cracks or chips, and discard any damaged ones. Place lids in a small saucepan of simmering water to soften the sealing compound.

Fill Jars with Soup: Ladle hot soup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving appropriate headspace as specified in the recipe. Remove air bubbles by gently tapping the jars and adjust headspace if necessary.

Wipe Jar Rims: Using a clean, damp cloth, wipe the rims of the jars to remove any food residue or liquid. Ensure the jar rims are clean and dry to ensure proper sealing.

Apply Lids and Bands: Place softened lids on the jars and screw on the bands fingertip tight. Avoid overtightening the bands, as this can prevent air from escaping during processing.

Process Jars in a Pressure Canner: Process the filled jars in a pressure canner according to the recommended time and pressure for the specific recipe and altitude. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating the pressure canner safely.

Cool and Store: Once processed, remove the jars from the pressure canner and allow them to cool on a clean, dry towel. Check the seals after cooling by pressing on the center of each lid. If the lid is firm and does not flex, the jar is sealed properly. Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

See Also: 10 Hearty Noodle Soup Recipes for Dinner

Tips for Storing Cooked Soup:

Use High-Quality Ingredients: Start with fresh, high-quality ingredients when preparing soup. Fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, and homemade broth can enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the soup.

Divide Into Portions: Consider dividing cooked soup into individual portions before storing. This allows for easy reheating and prevents the need to thaw or reheat larger quantities than necessary.

Consider Freezing in Ice Cube Trays: For small portions or for adding flavor to sauces and dishes, freeze leftover soup in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the soup cubes to a resealable bag for easy storage and portioning.

Avoid Repeated Freezing and Thawing: To maintain optimal quality, avoid repeatedly freezing and thawing cooked soup. Each time soup is frozen and thawed, its texture and flavor may deteriorate.

Store Properly in the Refrigerator: Arrange containers of soup in the refrigerator in a way that maximizes airflow and minimizes cross-contamination. Keep soups away from raw meat, poultry, and seafood to prevent potential foodborne illness.

Use Safe Handling Practices: Practice good hygiene and food safety when handling cooked soup. Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling food, and use clean utensils and equipment to prevent cross-contamination.

Monitor Storage Conditions: Regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer to ensure they are operating at the appropriate levels. Keep an eye out for signs of spoilage, such as off odors, mold growth, or changes in texture and color.

A Quick Review:

Storing cooked soup properly is essential for maintaining its freshness, flavor, and safety. Whether you choose to refrigerate, freeze, or can your soup, following recommended storage practices ensures that it remains safe to eat and enjoyable to savor. By understanding the principles of proper storage and implementing appropriate techniques, home cooks can extend the shelf life of their favorite soups and enjoy them whenever hunger strikes. So, the next time you whip up a batch of homemade soup, remember these tips for storing it like a pro. Your taste buds will thank you for it!



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023