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How Long You Can Store Homemade Soup In The Fridge And Freezer

Herbs going into pot of soup
Herbs going into pot of soup - Gmvozd/Getty Images

A pot of homemade soup makes for easy meal prep during a busy week or a comforting dish on a cold day. It's also a sustainable way to use up leftover broth, vegetables, and herbs from the back of the fridge before they go bad. With all of the effort that goes into making soup from scratch, you certainly don't want it to spoil. It's especially important if you make a large pot that might not be finished in one sitting.

Like other leftover foods, homemade soup can safely be stored in the fridge for three to four days, per standard guidance from the USDA. This includes soups and stews that contain fish, meat, and poultry. If the soup will not be eaten within that time frame, store it in the freezer instead for up to four months. Of course, soup can be frozen for far longer but its quality and flavor will be negatively affected over time — and you don't want all of the effort that went into the flavorful soup to be wasted.

Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked Worst To Best

Label Leftover Soup With A Date So You Don't Forgot How Old It Is

Containers of food labeled in fridge
Containers of food labeled in fridge - Vgajic/Getty Images

To store homemade soup in the fridge, you can keep it in the pot that it was cooked in if there's not too much left. Otherwise, the soup should be placed in airtight glass or plastic containers with a lid that properly closes to reduce the risk of any bacteria or mold forming. It also prevents cross-contamination with other foods in the fridge. For freezing, transfer the leftover soup to an airtight freezer-safe container and be sure not to overfill the container because soup expands as it freezes. If you're storing a large amount of soup, separate it into smaller serving-size containers. And don't forget to label each container with the date so you know how long it's been stored.

When you want to eat that frozen soup, it can be reheated in a saucepan or microwave without being defrosted. Bear in mind that it will take longer to heat up a frozen block of soup. To defrost soup before heating and serving, place the soup in the fridge (and wait patiently) or use the defrost setting on the microwave. And if you don't eat all of the defrosted or reheated soup, it's safe to place it back in the fridge for up to another four days.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.