Table of Contents
- The Correct Way To Cook Lentil Soup
- Can You Freeze Lentil Soup – Preservation And Freezing
- French Green Lentil Soup
- Mistakes To Avoid When Freezing Soup
- Can You Freeze Lentil Soup – Conclusion
We all have heard about the amazing benefits of lentils. The scientific name of the lentils is Lens culinaris, and it is a legume that has found its place in the culinary tradition in many cultures. This is partly due to how nutritious they are. It is believed that they first came from Southeast Asia, but now they are grown around the Mediterranean, America, and many other places in the world. Lentils are low in calories and high in fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants. They are a great addition to any diet and can do a lot for the body. But cooking lentils can take a long time. Having premade lentils would be a great solution. This brings us to the question – Can you freeze lentil soup? The answer is yes, you can and in the following sections, we will be looking at this in detail.
A smooth-mixed soup with lentils or vegetables is the world’s simplest dish – and enormously good and satisfying. One might think that it’s just a matter of pouring lentils or chopped vegetables into a saucepan of water, boiling it, and getting rid of it with the hand mixer. But cooking a good soup is not really that simple.
First things first. Let us talk about what is soup and what it technically means. Soup is a dish consisting mainly of liquid that has flavors, nutrients, and texture. Soups can also contain pieces of solid foods cooked in the soup in varying sizes. Depending on the consistency and composition, soups can be consumed as:
- Starter – thin soups, often cooked with vegetables, root vegetables
- Main course – strong flavor and energy-rich soups, often cooked with beans and lentils
- Dessert or snack – soups prepared from berries and fruits.
The Correct Way To Cook Lentil Soup
Before we talk about can you freeze lentil soup in detail, the first thing that we are going to take into account is the number of lentils that we want to cook and the water that we will need to cook them correctly. The proportion that is usually used is one cup legume to 3 cups of water.
The approximate amount of lentils per person will always depend on the recipe to be prepared, but approximately it is about 75 grams per person. Or, you can also use the grandmother’s trick, a handful and a half.
Before use, it is recommended to wash them to remove any dust or pebbles they contain. Clean them in a colander under running tap water or leave them in cold water for a few minutes and drain them afterward.
Soak, Yes Or No?
If the answer to the question – can you freeze lentil soup – is yes, then the next question is should they be soaked before cooking so that they can last longer in the freezer? Most varieties of lentils do not need to be soaked, that is, they can be cooked directly. But if you have time, soak them in cold water for a couple of hours, without adding salt or baking soda. Afterward, drain them and wash them with cold water to eliminate the sugars that they release during soaking. These very agents cause the famous flatulence.
Can You Freeze Lentil Soup – How To Cook Them
When you ask can you freeze lentils, it is important that you know how to cook them properly so that they can be frozen in the best way.
To cook the lentils, we have to take into account if we have soaked them before or not and also if we are going to cook them in a normal saucepan or in a pressure cooker.
Unsoaked lentils will take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to cook and if you cook unsoaked lentils in a pressure cooker, it can take 10 to 15 minutes. The time taken to cook them will be less if they are soaked. However, don’t overcook them if you want to freeze lentil soup.
Can You Freeze Lentil Soup – Preservation And Freezing
The lentils, once cooked, can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days in perfect conditions, and coming to the question – can you freeze lentil soup – we will also be able to freeze them if we want them to last even longer. Here is how –
Can You Freeze Lentil Soup – Freezing It The Right Way
Not only can you freeze lentil soup, but the good news is that lentils can be kept frozen for months; however, you have to take a number of aspects into account to do it correctly. How long is lentil soup good for when frozen will depend largely on how you froze it in the first place.
The most important thing is to drain them very well after cooking. This is since if the lentils have liquid when frozen, they will continue to absorb the liquid and can soften, which may lead to a bad thawed product for use.
If you want to keep the cooked lentils in the fridge because you have prepared more for using it within the next 2-3 days, it is better to keep them in the fridge in the same cooking container with their water or you can also transfer them to an airtight container. Keep in mind that they will be good for three or four days.
If you are not going to use them during that time, it is better to freeze them from the beginning, instead of keeping them in the fridge. And regarding the ideal freezer containers for soup, once they are dry, you can store them in a freezer bag or an airtight container. If you are wondering how long does lentil soup lasts, the good news is that you can keep it for months. This is the best way to freeze soup.
Can You Freeze Lentil Soup – Best Soups To Freeze
Talking about the best soups to freeze, mostly all soups including lentil soups can be frozen easily. However, there are a few soups that do not freeze well. We should not freeze soups with starchy foods (rice, cinnamon, pasta). Only when you thaw the frozen broth, you should add the grains and cereals. Otherwise, when thawed, the soup becomes a viscous substance.
People who ask can you freeze lentil soup should know that they should not freeze thick soups, where there are a lot of potatoes. For borscht and other soups, where there are few potatoes, this does not apply.
Cream and milk soup when frozen become granular so should be avoided. But if you are using coconut milk, this does not apply.
Fresh herbs are always better to add after defrosting, but not before.
How Long Can You Freeze Soup
Many people wonder how long does frozen soup lasts? Soup that is stored in the refrigerator should be eaten up within 3-5 days, However, if you store the soup in the freezer, it will remain good for as many as three months. Some soups may still be safe to consume after that time, but they lose quality and taste. So, it is best to use the frozen soup within 3 months of freezing.
Can You Freeze Soup With Milk In It?
People who ask can you freeze lentil soup also often wonder if they can freeze soup with milk in it. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Soups with milk or cream tend to separate with freezing, leading to a grainy textured soup that will likely end up in the drain after heating. Freeze the soups before adding the dairy, and when it’s time to reheat, you can mix the milk on the hob. With that said, soups that use almond milk or coconut milk have a greater chance of staying in the freezer – but add milk, even when it is not dairy-based later if possible for the best consistency.
How To Store Soup In Freezer
Once you have the answer to the question – Can you freeze lentil soup – Here are a couple of tips you should know to freeze your soup perfectly.:
- Choose The Proper Container – You have many options when you are looking to freeze lentil soup or any other soup for that reason. Gallon-sized bags are recommended as they can lie flat and can also hold a good quantity of liquid and can lie flat and save freezing space. You can even use bags if you would like to freeze individual portions. However, as long as you are sure that it is frost-protected, you can use almost any grade, the airtight container you prefer.
- For Broths, Go For Ice Cube Trays– All you need to do is to pour the broth into an ice cube tray, keep it in the freezer overnight and store the frozen soup cubes in a frost-protected container. Since you can use exactly what you need, there is no need to thaw and heat the whole batch several times.
- Make Sure The Soup Is Not Hot When Freezing – The soup should have completely cooled down before you freeze it. Otherwise, it freezes unevenly and the structure becomes rough. Cool it first to room temperature and then allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before you transfer it to the freezer.
How To Defrost Frozen Lentil Soup
With the question – can I freeze lentil soup – answered, now it is time to learn how to defrost it as not only is it important to learn how to freeze lentil soup, but it is equally important to know how to defrost or thaw frozen lentil soup.
When you have cooked lentil soup frozen and you want to thaw or defrost it, a slow defrosting is recommended before consuming them. Take them out of the freezer and store them in the fridge for at least 8 to 12 hours until they are completely thawed.
If in a hurry then you can place the container in warm water until the soup is completely defrosted.
The third option – thaw the soup in warm water and then boil it on medium heat.
Do not defrost the soup in a microwave oven. Most plastic containers are not designed for heating. Also, be careful with glass jars – they must be made of tempered glass to withstand a sharp temperature change.
It is important that you try to consume them as soon as possible (one or two days maximum) once they are defrosted and that you do not refreeze them a second time. Cooked lentils can be used in a multitude of cold recipes such as salads, hummus, falafel, etc.
French Green Lentil Soup
This is a delicious and nutritious French green lentil soup recipe and is also perfect for freezing. You just cook it once and enjoy it for as long as three months
What you need
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable
- 1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed
- 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Fresh coriander leaves (Only add to the soup you would be consuming right away, not to the portion, you will freeze)
How To Prepare It
In a medium saucepan, sauté onions, celery, carrots, and garlic over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. When the vegetables have just started to turn light brown, add salt, dried thyme, and black pepper to the pan. Continue cooking and stir the mixture for 1 minute.
Add vegetable, lentils, and diced tomatoes to the pan. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the temperature slightly.
Boil the soup, covered, for 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Puree 1 3/4 cup the soup with cider vinegar and stir the mixture back into the soup. Add fresh coriander leaves to the portion you would be consuming right away. Serve the soup hot, store it for up to three days in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
This French green lentil soup recipe makes 6 servings.
Mistakes To Avoid When Freezing Soup
Now that you have the answer to your question – can you freeze lentil soup, it is time to be aware of some mistakes people often make while freezing soup.
1. Make sure that the soup has cooled down before freezing.
It is very important to allow the soup to cool down completely before freezing it. While you may be tempted to transfer it to the freezer immediately after cooking, if it is a little hot, it may lower the freezer temperature, which may cause objects already in it to be defrosted to some extent. Not to mention the issue of rapid temperature change is a risk to food safety.
2. Overfilling or underfilling the container.
You may want to fit the last drop of soup into the container, but quit before filling it to the brim. Liquids have a tendency to expand when frozen, so if your container is filled to the brim, you risk the soup expanding which may even break through the container. Inversely, you also won’t want to underfill it because there will be room for more air inside, which may mean a speedy freezer burn.
Leave approximately one inch of space between the lid and the soup. This gives the liquid enough space to expand but limits the contact with air.
Can You Freeze Lentil Soup – Conclusion
Having a few containers of homemade lentil soup in the freezer makes that long winter ahead not seem so bad. This is because you can be sure that you have a solid supply of nutrients to warm you to your legs. Just follow the tips given above and your question – can you freeze lentil soup – is answered.