Soups are one of the easiest and most delicious dishes to freeze. Make a double batch of the soups you love most and freeze some for later with these tips! Also try these three delicious chicken soup recipes that are great for freezing.
Tips for successful freezer soups
- Hold back the ingredients that won’t freeze well and then adding them back in when you reheat the soup. If you’re making some soup to eat now and some to freeze, just scoop out the portion you want to freeze before adding these final ingredients.
Ingredients to hold back:
Cream and milk tend to separate and become grainy if frozen. It’s easy enough to freeze the soup without this ingredient and stir it in while re-heating.
Pasta can turn to mush after freezing. It’s much better to boil fresh pasta and add this directly to the reheated soup.
Fresh herbs and eggs tend to be very delicate, which is why they’re added so late in the game. This makes it likely that they won’t stand up well to being frozen and will taste better if added fresh.
- Undercook the vegetables. Vegetables will cook a little more when the soup is reheating, so freezing while they’re still slightly underdone prevents vegetables from turning to mush later on. Scoop out the portion you plan of freezing before finishing the soup you plan to eat.
- Remember to date and label all your containers of soup.
- Let the soup cool down before freezing.
- Allow a small amount of head room for expansion, approx. one inch.
- Do not thaw the soups at room temperature. To ensure that your food is safe to eat, follow one of these proper ways to thaw:
In the refrigerator: this is the slowest but safest thawing technique.
In cold water: place leak-proof containers in a large container of cold water.
In a microwave on the defrost setting: cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a microwave.
Chicken and Rice Soup
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), skin removed
1 1/2 pounds (9 to 10 medium) carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
1 pound (5 to 6 medium) parsnips, peeled and halved crosswise
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
2 large onions (about 1 pound), halved and sliced
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
6 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
In a large soup pot, combine chicken, carrots, parsnips, celery, onions, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Simmer partly covered, occasionally skimming and discarding fat from surface, about 1 hour.
With a slotted spoon or tongs, remove chicken, carrots, and parsnips from pot; set aside. Pour remaining contents of pot through a fine-mesh sieve into another large pot; discard solids, and bring broth to a boil. Add rice and white part of scallions. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove chicken from bones, and shred into bite-size pieces (discard any fatty or discolored parts). Cut carrots and parsnips into bite-size pieces. When rice is cooked, return chicken, carrots, and parsnips to broth in pot; add green part of scallions. Season generously with 5 to 6 teaspoons coarse salt.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 fresh diced garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons corn oil
4 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can Tomatoes, diced (optional)
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies, diced
1 (1 1/4-1 1/2 ounce) packet taco seasoning
1 (10 count) package corn tortillas (broken or cut into small pieces)
12 ounces chicken meat, poached, diced
1 cup milk
12 ounces Monterey jack cheese or 12 ounces Mexican blend cheese, shredded
Corn tortilla chips, broken into small pieces
Sauté carrots, onions, celery in corn oil, garlic, salt and pepper until tender. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Add tomatoes, Rotel, taco seasoning, and chicken. Cut Tortillas into small pieces and add to broth mixture. Let boil for 20 minutes or until tortillas are thoroughly incorporated into soup stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Reduce heat and add 8 oz. cheese. Simmer for additional 10 minutes. *Add milk and simmer for additional 10 minutes. Garnish with shredded cheese and broken tortilla chips.
*Remove the portion you are freezing before adding the milk. When you reheat, remember to add the milk.
Chicken Vegetable Soup
2 cups chopped chicken meat
2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup diced potato
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup light cream
In soup pot, sauté chicken in butter for 3 minutes. Add onion, celery, green pepper and garlic. Sauté for another 3 minutes. Add broth, bouillon, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes and carrots. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; quickly *stir in cream.
*Remove the portion you are freezing before adding the cream. When you reheat, remember to add the cream.