Yes, you can. Just like most other soups, cream-based soups can be frozen. You probably whipped up some warm and comforting soup and relished it. But then, you have quite a bit of leftover cream soup that you would like to store for another day. Your best bet is to freeze the leftovers.
You can freeze cream soup. However, a frozen cream soup undergoes a change in texture and flavor, with the cream or milk base separating upon freezing and thawing, making it less appealing than when fresh. Stirring it well and adding fresh ingredients will make the thawed soup more like the original.
Read on to learn about freezing cream soups and how to consume these after thawing.
Can You Freeze Cream-Based Soups?
If you’ve accidentally prepared too much cream soup, you could consider freezing it and keeping it consumable for about 6 months.
Freezing Cream Soup – Tips
When freezing cream soups, it would be good to remember some of these additional tips:
- Certain ingredients, like potatoes, tend to soak up moisture and fall apart upon freezing.
- It is better to add fresh herbs after reheating frozen cream soups.
- Remove any pasta from the soup, or hold back on it. You can add freshly boiled pasta when reheating the soup.
- Green vegetables like beans or peas turn mushy when reheating. So you can either not cook them fully before freezing or add them only when reheating.
What Happens to A Cream Soup Upon Freezing?
Dairy-based soups with milk or cream are emulsified in the cooking process. The protein bonding prevents the splitting of water molecules and fat molecules. However, freezing disrupts these bonds and the separation of the components.
As the soup freezes, the cream or milk floats to the top of the mix. This causes a thin layer of ice crystals that separates from the rest of the ingredients. Hence, you’ll need to give the soup a good stir before freezing.
Cream soups lose their smooth consistency when frozen, resulting in an unpleasant, grainy texture upon defrosting. The more fat content in the soup, the more likely it will split.
Additional Tips For Freezing Cream Soup
To avoid undesirable changes to the taste and texture when you freeze soups, here are some simple things to keep in mind:
- If you plan ahead to freeze soup, avoid adding dairy products, including cream. Once you defrost the soup, add the cream while reheating for a fresh flavor.
- Use low-fat cream or dairy products in soups if you’re looking at freezing soup.
- Non-dairy milk like coconut milk or almond milk holds up better when frozen yet, doesn’t taste the same upon defrosting.
- If you did add cream while preparing the soup, mix in a thin mixture of agar-agar powder or arrowroot powder with water after defrosting while reheating.
- If the reheated soup separates, blend it well for about 30 seconds or whisk to achieve the desired consistency.
Freezing Cream-Style Soups
To store cream soup the right way as a frozen meal, here’s what you can do:
- Never put hot soup directly into the freezer. Instead, let the cream soup cool down completely.
- Pour the soup into freezer-safe plastic bags or airtight plastic containers.
- Freezer-safe bags are a good option if you are tight on freezer space and the soup is of thin consistency. Avoid filling the bags to the brim; leave enough room for the liquid to expand.
- Soups with thicker consistency are best stored in an airtight container.
- Place the lid of the airtight container or seal the freezer bags properly. Mark them with the date of storage and place them inside the freezer.
- Ensure you squeeze out excess air from freezer bags or press a piece of plastic wrap over the soup’s surface in containers. This avoids freezer burn.
- If you had too much leftover soup, it would be best to store it in small batches. Then, you could defrost only as much as you require.
Frozen Cream Soups – How to Defrost and Reheat?
Typically, cream soups can be stored in the freezer for up to six months. Beyond that, the flavor and texture tend to get compromised even more.
The defrosting process must be done carefully and slowly for minimal separation and change in texture or structure. This means it’s best to keep the freezer bag or container of cream soup in the fridge overnight or for at least eight hours and let it thaw.
To reheat the soup after defrosting it, you could use the stove or microwave. It is recommended, however, to use the stove if the soup is separated; you can stir well for re-combining all the ingredients while reheating it.
Using The Stove Top To Reheat Cream Soup
Use a saucepan to hold the thawed soup and let it simmer on a low flame. Avoid using high heat and keep stirring frequently; else, the soup could burn.
If the soup has a runny consistency, add cornstarch diluted with water or agar-agar or arrowroot powder for a thicker, desired consistency.
Suppose you hadn’t added cream before freezing the soup; you could add it while reheating on the stove. Let it simmer until the cream mixes in with the soup well.
Using The Microwave To Reheat Cream Soup
Use a microwave-safe bowl to contain the thawed soup. Place the bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds, on high. Stir the soup well and continue to repeat until the soup is hot and well blended.
Can You Freeze Cream Soups? – Conclusion
To sum it up, can you freeze soups with a cream base? Yes, you can freeze cream soups. However, before you do, you must know that freezing cream soups leads to a change in the texture. This is why it’s recommended to hold back on the cream or milk before freezing and add it while re-heating defrosted soup.
But, if you’re left with excess cream soup, it’s better to freeze it than let it go to waste.