Chicken noodle soup represents a hearty bowl of foodie comfort. A homemade chicken noodle soup recipe often yields large batches of soup. Unless you are feeding a large family or guests, you are likely to have some leftovers.
Don’t let any of your soup go to waste. It is the perfect, anytime ‘meal-in-bowl.’ Freezing soup allows you to prolong its shelf life for a few months without having to waste a single drop.
Here you will find out everything you need to know to successfully freeze chicken noodle soup.
Types of Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is a thin broth with pieces of chicken, vegetables, and noodles. The type of chicken noodle soup will vary according to the addition of different vegetables, herbs, and spices.
The soup is cooked slowly over low heat for one to three hours. Rice, barley, or dumplings can be used instead of noodles.
Chicken noodle soup should not be confused with cream of chicken soup. The cream of chicken soup is different since it contains dairy which chicken noodle soup does not. The exclusion of dairy is one of the reasons chicken noodle soup can be frozen successfully.
Chicken noodle soup has a reputation for being helpful for colds and flu and is well-known comfort food in many cultures.
Can Chicken Noodle Soup be Frozen?
Yes, although chicken noodle soup freezes quite well, you may want to consider freezing the soup and the noodles separately. Freezing chicken noodle soup will change the texture of the noodles to become soggy as it is thawed and reheated.
If you are making the chicken noodle soup specifically as freezer meals for later use, your best option is to cook the soup and the noodles separately. Even better, make the soup for freezing and add freshly cooked noodles only once you are ready to serve the soup.
When freezing homemade chicken noodle soup, always make sure that the soup is completely cooled before freezing. Also, keep the soup well protected from contact with air during freezing to prevent freezer burn which will ruin the quality of the dish.
How To Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup
Step 1: Cool
Let the chicken noodle soup cool completely to room temperature. To speed up the cooling process, you can place it in the refrigerator.
Step 2: Pack
Freeze the soup in the portion size that you will need at any given time. For easy freezer meals, divide it into individual portions. Remember that you will have to thaw and use the entire batch in each container when removing it from the freezer.
For the best results, freeze the soup and the noodles separately. Pour the cooled soup into airtight freezer safe containers or zip lock freezer bags. Place the noodles in a resealable freezer bag.
Step 3: Seal
If you are using a freezer safe container, leave an inch of headspace at the top open for the expansion of the liquid on freezing. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the soup to limit the contact with air while still allowing for the expansion of the liquid. Close with an airtight lid.
For zip lock bags, leave some headspace to allow for the expansion of the liquid without bursting the bag. Seal the bag 80% of the way and then press out any excess air before closing it completely.
Step 4: Label
Label the bags or container with the contents and date of freezing to keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.
Step 5: Freeze
Place the freezer bags flat on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer until solid. This will allow the soup to freeze evenly, speed up the thawing process, and save freezer space later. Once hard, remove the baking sheet and stack the flat freezer bags.
When placing containers in the freezer, try to keep them level until fully frozen to prevent any leakages.
How To Thaw and Reheat Frozen Chicken Noodle Soup
There are a few ways in which you can thaw and reheat soup depending on the time you have, your equipment, and whether you froze the noodles separately from the soup or not.
Method 1: Combined Soup and Noodles
Remove the soup and noodles from the freezer. If you have time, let the noodles and soup thaw overnight in the fridge.
If you are tight on time, run the bag of soup under water for a few minutes or place it in a water bath just to loosen the frozen edges from the packaging, so it slightly starts thawing. Decant the frozen soup into a pot.
Let the soup defrost on medium low heat on the stovetop. Then, bring it to a boil on medium high heat and eat immediately.
Method 2: Microwave
Remove the soup and noodles from the freezer. Run the bag of soup under water for a few minutes or place it in a water bath just to loosen the frozen edges from the packaging, so it slightly starts thawing.
Decant the soup into a microwave safe dish and heat it using the medium heat setting. Stop every few minutes to stir the soup ensuring that it heats through evenly.
Method 3: Separate Soup and Noodles
If you have frozen the noodles separate from the soup, follow ‘Method 1’ above to reheat the soup. Let the noodles thaw in the water bath as well and then heat them separately in a frying pan with a teaspoon of oil.
Once they are warmed through, add them to the pot of hot broth. This way, you can preserve the texture of the noodles.
Another option is to cook fresh noodles and add them to the pot of reheated broth. Once reheated, eat the chicken noodle soup immediately.
Just because you can’t finish your batch of delicious soup in one sitting doesn’t mean it needs to go to waste. In fact, cooking a large batch of soup allows you to cook once, and enjoy it for 6 more months down the line.
This comforting dish is easy to freeze and provides a fantastic healthy meal in an instant, by simply defrosting, and reheating.
Freeze soup in the portion sizes you will need. This will prevent having to thaw and use a large frozen batch which may end up going to waste if you do not finish everything this time around.
*photo by Switch-84/depositphotos