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how long does frozen homemade soup last?

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i made tomato soup for the first time ever, and am now inspired to run back to the greenmarket and make pepper soup, corn soup, 15 variations on the tomato soup, etc etc...

would love to know how long i can keep these in my freezer. i don't have room to freeze the veggies at their peak for making soup in the winter, so i'd rather make the soup now and freeze individual-serving baggies. this query isn't really specific enough for google...found one page that said to use soup within 3 months; another said 4 months. hoping these are conservative estimates because now i'm looking forward to not buying any more canned soup this winter!

if any of you soupmasters can answer my question i'd really appreciate it! also interested in knowing if the addition of cream or yogurt affects the "expiration date."

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  1. In my completely unscientific experience I have kept soup in the freezer for up to 6 months - by then they aren't necessarily at their peak, but I haven't killed anyone yet! However, I wouldn't store soup with meat/poultry/seafood that long - maybe 3-4 months; I freeze in a freezer bag baggie, and then use that vacuum bag thing ( just try to get as little air in contact with it )if it's going to be for mid-winter. If it's a soup with cream/milk I prefer the consistancy if it's added on serving - it can get that "grainy" coagulated quality otherwise, and this gives it some freshness. With soups that are vegetable bases, like tomato or red pepper, I concentrate them a bit, both for space and flavor; then you can add water or stock when you bring it back. And you usually have to re-season alittle, especially salt.
    I do the same thing with tomato sauce - why make alittle when you can make alot! Have fun!

    1 Reply
    1. re: hattie

      sounds good! i had considered leaving out cream for when the soups are actually used, as well...sounds like a better idea. i also want to try this with sauce...i usually make a big batch because it's easier but since i never thought of freezing it for later, i end up eating it every other day until i get sick of it. will definitely be freezing sauce from now on!

      interesting idea to make the vegetable base now and add stock upon use. i don't have a particularly large stock pot so i could make alot more frozen soup if i left out broth for later...

    2. I usually keep my soups in the freezer for 3-4 months. The only soups I don't freeze are potato-based ones--in my experience the potatoes get grainy and pretty nasty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: divstudent

        that's unfortunate. i had been hoping to make a corn chowder with bacon and potatoes...disappointing to think meat and potatoes might not freeze well.

      2. I think it depends what type freezer you have. Self-defrosting freezers warm up occasionally to defrost, so food doesn't keep as long in that type in my experience.