How to Reheat Leftover Soup

Soup makes for an economical meal, especially if you make a large batch and store portions with plans for reheating soup at future meals. Soups will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator or three to four months when frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA.

Soup makes for an economical meal, especially if you make a large batch and store portions with plans for reheating soup at future meals. Credit: jenifoto/iStock/GettyImages

Reheating soup is simple; the main concern lies in getting it to just the right temperature to satisfy both food safety concerns and your taste buds.

Read more: 6 Simple Noodle Soups That Will Make You Toss the Canned Stuff

Reheating Food Guidelines: Stovetop

Step 1: Choose Your Stovetop Pot

Pour the soup into a pot large enough to prevent any boiling liquid from boiling over its sides. If the soup fills the pot, use a larger pot.

Step 2: Add Liquid If Needed

Add extra water, especially if the soup contains pasta or rice, as these will have soaked up a lot of the extra soup liquid during storage in the refrigerator. PennState Extension recommends adding 1.5 cups of water for every 1 quart of soup.

Step 3: Choose the Heat Setting

Turn the heat up to at least medium if the soup is not frozen. If you know that the pan can handle it and the soup is mostly broth, you can use high heat. If the soup is frozen, add the water and heat on low for a few minutes until the soup melts. Turn up the heat after that.

Step 4: Heat and Stir

Wait for the soup to boil. Stir regularly to prevent food from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Step 5: Boil Then Simmer

Let the soup boil for at least one minute. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer for a few minutes.

Step 6: Remove From Heat

Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the hot burner; the metal will remain hot for a while even after you turn off the heat.

Step 7: Test the Food Temp

Insert a food thermometer into the soup, but do not touch the bottom or the sides of the pan. The temperature should read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as advised by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

If the soup contains chunks of food, insert the thermometer into the chunks. Lift the chunk from the bottom of the pot if needed. Everything in the pot needs to be at least 165 degrees. Heat the soup more if needed.

Read more: 12 Slimming Soups

Reheat Soup in the Microwave

Step 1: Pick Your Container

Pour the soup into a microwave-safe container that has a lot of room at the top. Soup can boil over even in a microwave.

Step 2: Cover It Loosely

Place a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap on top of the container, leaving a small opening at the side as a vent.

Step 3: Heat, Stir, Heat

Heat the soup on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Open the microwave's door and stir the soup. Heat the soup again for another 30 seconds.

Step 4: Check the Temperature

Repeat alternating heating and stirring until the center of the soup is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the soup stand for two minutes after heating, as recommended by Wisconsin Food Code. Again, use the food thermometer to measure both the broth and chunks of food.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot

  • Liquid measuring cup

  • Water

  • Long-handled spoon

  • Food thermometer

  • Microwave-safe container

  • Microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap

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