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soup containers?

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i like to make large batches of homemade soup. What are the best containers to freeze it in smaller portions? Where can I get a lot of them?

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  1. I like Ziploc (and other more or less identical brand) reusable containers, found in the Supermarket near the aluminum foil and such. They're plastic, Tupperware like things, but they're cheap, dishwasher safe, and stack easily. They're allegedly disposable, but I swear I've had some of the same ones for years and they're holding up just fine.

    1. Agree with Pothead. I use them for partition by chicken stock and them in the freezer. Some example of these containers:



      Get the size and shape you need.

      1. I like Ziplock too, but I use the quart freezer bags. You can put an individual portion of soup in them, squeeze the air out, zip them shut and freeze them flat. They take up less room in the freezer and the ice crystals do not form on the top even after months in the freezer. (I started using this method when we froze soup for my widowed father. I once caught him with a whole bunch of those cheap Banquet frozen dinners in his freezer).

        4 Replies
        1. re: John E.

          I do the same as you, John E. A while back I made a HUGE batch of stock. Put one and two cups worth in zipping bags. Froze them flat and then put them standing up in a box in the freezer. Kicking myself that I didn't start that years ago.

          1. re: c oliver

            Actually, I only put soup into the zip type freezer bags. I put 2 cups of stock into .5 liter water bottles. When my parents started to winter in Arizona, they had so many oranges my father started to squeeze them and freeze the juice in water bottles and I though stock would freeze good that way too. I used to use cottage cheese containers and other freezer containers but none of them work as well as the bottles.

            1. re: John E.

              I love the idea of freezing stock in water bottles. Given the narrow neck, do you have a quick-defrost tip?

              1. re: CindyJ

                I put the bottles in an ice cream bucket in the sink and put hot tap water on them. I change the tap water a couple of times if I'm around or just wait a couple hours. Either way, it's much easier than my impatient method of using a serrated knife and cutting the bottle in half and putting the frozen stock in a Pyrex container and microwaving it.

        2. I freeze them in small tupperware containers then place them in larger gallon ziploc bags once they are frozen. Sometimes I'll vacuum seal them (after being frozen). Remember to LABEL those bags.

          1. Another vote for Ziploc. I like the Twist & Lock...they're great for work lunches because they won't leak in transit.

            1. I freeze my soups in 8oz disposable coffee cups. The kind with the sipper lids. It gives them a shape that is easily placed in a regular coffee mug or in a soup bowl for nuking, whichever lights my fire at the moment. Originally I put the soup directly in the cups, then put a zip lock bag over the top and pushed it down inside to make direct contact with the surface of the soup. Barring air from the soups surface pretty much eliminates the formation of ice crystals.

              Now I'm trying a new method (first time today, none used yet) in which the zip lock bag goes into the cup, then the soup, then air expelled, and zip the zip lock bag and top with the sipping lid. I don't know yet how well this is going to work because the soup and the zip lock bag wrap around each other and may be difficult to separate prior to nuking. If it works well, I will switch to this method as a way to conserve on cups, but if not, the great convenience of having an option to nuke the soup in the disposable cup or a ceramic mug or a bowl is a pretty good thing!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Caroline1

                I do something similar but with regular coffee mugs to shy away from throwing away a bunch of stuff. I'm also trying to limit the use of plastics coming in contact with my food. It might be a little more work to get the frozen soup to release from the mug if placing in a separate storage container though. Often the mug just goes straight into the microwave for reheating/defrosting depending on what it is.

                If you're like me and have way too many coffee cups around, this is a good way to put them to use.

                1. re: cannibal

                  There was a time in my life when I swear, coffee mugs bred with each other behind closed cabinet doors. I ALWAYS had too many! When I switched to porcelain mugs to match my china and called in an exterminator, the problem went away. The thing I do like about the light weight thin disposable coffee cups is that they take up a LOT less room. And I will NOT be using the zip lock bag inside them to put the soup in. Some of the plastic gets frozen into the creases and folds of the soup and the only options are to thaw the soup in warm water or nuke in the plastic. I'm back to the disposable cups that I just peel off the soup and drop it into a mug. I compensate for the conspicuous consumption in other ways. '-)

              2. Thanks for the responses! I have some basic Ziploc containers, but wasn't sure if they were too thin and sealed well enough to keep it well in the freezer. I'm preparing some to give to a family member, I like the bag & coffee cup ideas too!
                Anyone know if it's possible to buy the stronger type like Chinese carryouts use?

                3 Replies
                1. re: pamd

                  You might check out Sam's Club or similar, but if the family member is elderly or has arthritic hands (I fall into both categories) those damned Chinese plastic take-outs have lids that are child proof AND adult proof! Good luck!

                  1. re: pamd

                    Google 'Reynolds Del-Pak" and you should find several online sources for those containers.

                    1. re: pamd

                      I use the Ball freezer jars, and deli containers with the ridged lid, that I got off of ebay (sizes from 8-32 oz). They freeze well, are reusable and (most) are safe for microwave.

                      I can/preserve and make ice cream so these worked very well!


                    2. I save empty cottage cheese, sour creme, etc containers and use them to freeze and store foods.

                      1. The Ziploc products work well. The plastic containers with the pale blue tops (about 1 cup) are convenient but cost about $0.60-0.80/each. Use the plastic bags and you are down to less than $0.10 each.

                        As John E said, the trick with the bags is to only put about 1 cup in a 1 qt bag. Press all the air out before sealing. Lay the bag on the counter top and distribute the liquid evenly through out the bag. Freeze it in that position but once it's frozen you can store it in any position you want. When ready to use, run warm/hot water on the bag. In a few seconds, you will be able to break the 'slab' into pieces. Open the bag and dump into a container for the microwave or stove. Only a thin film remains on the inside of the bag.

                        They are restaurant supply stores which are mostly wholesale but often sell to the public. You will probably have to buy containers by the case. Just ask the restaurant owner/manager where they get theirs or go online.

                        Finally, for stock try freezing in ice cube trays and then putting in a plastic bag. That way you can thaw out just the amount you need.

                        1. Whether it's soup, stock, bolognese, whatever, I use the plastic containers that come from the chinese takeout. They're avaiable at dollar stores usually for 10 for $1.00. This way I have pint and quart measures. After they're frozen I vacuum pack them.

                          1. I suggest 32 oz yogurt tubs. My freezer has quite a few of them filled with chicken stock.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: NotJuliaChild

                              I use those, too, as well as the same size cottage cheese containers. I guess you have to watch out and not heat anything in these plastics due to toxins in the plastics. You just pop them out of the recycled container anyway and heat in a glass bowl or crockpot.

                              I always freeze extra soup in containers just barely big enough to feed 2 then use my mini-crock pot to thaw/cook. In fact, I think I like the soup the second time around better that way.