Soup is the perfect dinner for winter months, and it is one of the best meals to make-ahead because most soups freeze really well. It is always a good idea to have a couple of portions of soup in your freezer for when you don’t feel like cooking, but you still want a wholesome, warming meal in next to no time at all.
Most soups freeze well, but there are a few that don’t. One such soup that causes some confusion is onion soup. Onion soup is an absolute must during the winter months, and you can make up a large batch of onion soup on a tight budget, but to keep it for long, what do you do?
Can you freeze onion soup? You can freeze onion soup for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Before placing the onion soup in the freezer, make sure it has cooled down completely to room temperature. It’s also a good idea to portion out the soup so that you can reheat individual portion sizes.
Understanding how to freeze onion soup properly will help you ensure that your onion soup keeps its delicious taste and great quality when frozen and thawed, allowing you to enjoy it for lunch or dinner without having to go through all the extra prep!
Freezing Onion Soup: The Best Way
Freezing onion soup is not complicated at all, and there are just a few steps you have to follow to make sure your onion soup is kept safe in the freezer.
Here are the steps to follow to properly freeze onion soup:
- Cook the soup – The first step would obviously be to let the soup cook as it usually would, however, if you are planning on freezing some of the soup, remove the portion for freezing before it cooks through completely. This is to keep the onion al dente, which stops it from becoming too soft and mushy when thawed and reheated. However, if this isn’t possible, it is fine to just cook the onion soup as you usually would following your favorite recipe.
- Allow it to cool – You cannot put hot food in the freezer. This can cause condensation in the freezer container which will then lead to poor quality of the food, and to freezer burn which further destroys the quality. Instead, you should allow the onion soup to sit out at room temperature to cool.
- If you are in a bit of a rush, you can place the hot soup in a pot or bowl and place it into ice water in your sink. Stirring it often also helps it cool a little faster. You can also portion the soup into smaller servings to allow it to cool faster.
- Portion the soup – If you are planning on using the batch of soup for freezing for one large family meal, it is fine to freeze it together in a large freezer container or freezer bag. However, if there is a substantial amount of soup leftover, and more than can be enjoyed in one sitting, you will need to freeze it in smaller portions.
Storage Containers For Onion Soup
There are a few options for freezer storage to choose when freezing the soup:
- Quart-size freezer bag – Quart-size freezer bags will accommodate a single serving of soup, with some space left over, and seal shut tightly. The advantage of using freezer bags is that you can lay them flat on top of each other to save space in the freezer, they stack up really easily.
- Freezer-safe containers – You can use either freezer-safe plastic or glass containers to freeze the soup. Use the size you want to accommodate the portion of your serving and make sure that it is sealed tight. Our favorite glass containers are part of the Rubbermaid Brilliance Collection.
- Muffin trays – Freezing the onion soup in muffin trays is a great trick! Here’s how:
- Pour cooled onion soup into the holes in a muffin tray until the soup reaches the top of the individual muffin holes.
- Place the muffin tin in the freezer overnight or for a few hours until the soup is frozen.
- Once frozen, remove from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for up to 20 minutes – this makes it easier to remove the individual frozen soup portions.
- Remove all of the portions and place these into a large freezer bag. Freezing the soup this way allows you to have single portions frozen, separate from each other, but stored in the same bag.
- You can easily grab a portion or two to heat up when you are ready, without having to defrost the whole batch.
Tips For Freezing Onion Soup
- Don’t freeze croutons – Typically, onion soup is served with a delicious cheesy crouton on top. You cannot freeze the onion soup with the croutons. It will become incredibly soggy and really just inedible. Rather freeze the onion soup on its own, and then make up a fresh cheesy crouton when you thaw and reheat the onion soup.
- Label the freezer container – It is very important to label the freezer container you are using to freeze the onion soup. Write the name of the meal, which would be onion soup, and the date of freezing. This allows you to easily identify the onion soup among all the other food in the freezer, and help you know when you should eat the onion soup by to ensure it retains good taste and quality.
How Long Can Onion Soup Be Frozen For?
If handled and stored correctly, onion soup can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. It will still be fine to eat after this, but there is a high chance that the quality will deteriorate and it won’t taste nearly as good as it could.
If kept in the fridge, onion soup can be eaten within 3 or 4 days. So if you are wanting to extend the shelf life of onion soup further than this, then it is a much better option to place the onion soup in the freezer to ensure that it does not spoil it before you eat it.
Refreezing Thawed Onion Soup
If you have thawed a large portion of onion soup, but cannot finish the whole portion, you might want to refreeze it. It is not safe to refreeze onion soup once it has thawed, and the same rule applies to almost all food that has been thawed.
You might be able to get away with refreezing onion soup if has been left to thaw in the refrigerator and there are some ice crystals left, meaning it hasn’t defrosted fully, but it is still not recommended.
It is even more dangerous to refreeze onion soup which has been reheated after being thawed.
Any soup which is left over after being thawed and reheated should be thrown away, and not even be placed back in the fridge. There is just too high a chance of bacterial growth which could lead to food-borne illnesses, and the onion soup will not be good quality after reheating again.
This is why it is a good choice to freeze single portions, so you can thaw as much as you know you will finish in one meal, without the risk of wasting.
What is the best container for freezing onion soup?
The best container to protect the soup the most in the freezer would be a glass jar or plastic freezer container. These work well to keep the onion soup protected from freezer burn and from other odors in the freezer.
Does onion soup expand when frozen?
Yes, as it is liquid, the onion soup will expand when it is frozen, so you should leave some room in the freezer container that you choose to make room for this.
If you fill the container and do not leave room for expansion, then the onion soup will very likely pop open the freezer container or bag and you will find quite a mess in your freezer.
How do I reheat onion soup?
Before reheating onion soup, you should leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw. You can leave it at room temperature or place it in the microwave to defrost, but this can ruin the quality and lead to bacteria growth.
Once thawed, place the onion soup to reheat in the microwave, or you can place it in a saucepan and reheat it on medium heat on the stove. Make sure to warm it well, and stir it around to make sure the heat distributes evenly.
Freezing Onion Soup
You can freeze onion soup to keep to enjoy at a later stage, and it is super easy to freeze onion soup to ensure that it will be safe and tasty to enjoy later on.
Remember to follow the above steps to ensure that the onion soup keeps its great quality and taste and that it is kept protected in the freezer. Once frozen, you can leave the onion soup in the freezer for up to 3 months before it needs to be consumed.
Make an extra batch of onion soup next time you have it for dinner, and keep a few portions in the freezer for when you need a warm, wholesome meal without worrying about cooking!