Lentil soup is a delicious, easy-to-make, and entirely filling dish that’s also packed with nutrients. You can make delightful lentil soup using the available lentil varieties, including black, green, yellow, or brown. Although it’s best to eat it while it’s steaming hot and fresh, can you freeze lentil soup if you have any leftover or if you make it in bulk?
You can freeze lentil soup to eat at a later date. So long as you freeze the soup as soon as it cools, it’ll still be fresh and safe to eat when you defrost and reheat it. However, after defrosting and reheating your frozen lentil soup, you may notice a slight change in its flavor and consistency.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss the situations where you’ll want to freeze lentil soup and what happens to it when you do. I’ll also explain the proper way to freeze it, thaw it, and reheat it when you’re ready to enjoy it later. Here we go.
Reasons To Freeze Lentil Soup
As mentioned earlier, you can freeze lentil soup for later use. It’ll retain its freshness and quality after thawing and reheating it. Below are some reasons why you may want to freeze lentil soup.
Freeze To Preserve Leftover Lentil Soup
If you cook excess lentil soup, you can freeze the leftovers for future use. It’s best to freeze the leftover lentil soup within two hours of making it so that it’s still fresh.
Caution: If you have left the soup at room temperature for several hours, you shouldn’t freeze it because by that point it could have attracted some food bacteria.
Freeze Lentil Soup For Advanced Meal Planning
When planning meals for the week or month, frozen foods like lentil soup save you time and energy. You prepare the lentil soup in large quantities and freeze the fresh soup as soon as it cools so that it maintains its freshness. You can then warm the soup any time you wish without worrying about prep time.
How To Freeze Lentil Soup
As mentioned earlier, you can freeze freshly cooked or leftover lentil soup. Below are the steps for doing so:
- Allow the lentil soup to cool off completely. Putting warm or hot food in the freezer lowers the freezer’s temperature and could spoil food, including the lentil soup.
- Get some medium-sized freezer-safe bags. Such bags preserve freshness and prevent spillage.
- Stir the soup thoroughly to mix any vegetables inside with the liquid.
- Use a freezer-safe bag and secure it with another container so that any spillage will go into the container.
- Use a ladle to put the soup in the freezer bag.
- Fill the bag only halfway to give the soup room for expansion.
- Remove any excess air from the bag. Air left in the bag can compromise the freshness of the lentil soup.
- Fill the other bags the same way and seal them. Remember to stir the soup before ladling into each bag.
- Label the bags with the storage date.
- Store the bags flat in the freezer.
- If you have several bags, you can stack them on top of each other to save freezer space.
The 3 Things That Happen When You Freeze Lentil Soup
Three main things happen when you freeze lentil soup. Let’s look at each of them.
- The liquid in the soup expands: When you freeze lentil soup or any other soup, the liquid in the soup expands. So, if the container is too full, the soup could expand and break through the container. It’s, therefore, best to leave some room in the container for expansion.
- The consistency of the soup changes a bit: When you freeze lentil soup, the soup turns into solid ice. When you defrost the soup, you’ll notice its texture has changed; it’s drier than when you froze it. You thus have to add some water or stock to dilute the soup before consuming it.
- The flavor changes slightly: Since you have to add some stock or water to the lentil soup to improve its consistency after thawing, its taste is slightly different from when you froze it.
How To Defrost and Warm Your Lentil Soup
The best method of thawing your lentil soup is using the fridge. When you defrost the soup inside the refrigerator, it defrosts slowly while retaining its freshness and quality. Below is how to defrost lentil soup in the refrigerator:
- Remove the soup from the freezer.
- Put the soup inside the refrigerator to defrost overnight. It’s good to put the soup in a separate container before putting them in the refrigerator; any spillage goes into the container.
- The soup will defrost completely.
- Put the defrosted lentil soup in a saucepan and place the saucepan on the stove.
- Add some broth or water to the saucepan to help reconstitute the soup.
- Heat the soup on low to medium heat until it boils. Stir it now and then to mix well.
- Serve the soup while it’s steaming hot and enjoy.
If you have some leftover or fresh lentil soup, freeze it to preserve its quality and freshness. You can extend the lentil soup’s shelf life for about six months when you freeze it correctly. However, consuming the frozen soup within a shorter time is best because the longer it remains in the freezer, the more its texture changes.
Defrosted lentil soup can stay fresh in the refrigerator for about a day or two. Therefore, you should consume the soup within two days to prevent bacteria. Also, avoid refreezing the thawed soup, as doing so will lead to lower quality soup in terms of taste and texture and it could also lead to food poisoning.