How Long Home-Cooked Soup Lasts Depends On How You Store It

There's nothing quite like home-cooked soup. Whether it's the comforting goodness of a classic chicken noodle soup, the tangy simplicity of a tomato soup, or the creamy richness of a hearty chowder, a steaming bowl of home-cooked soup is the ultimate comfort food on a chilly winter day, warming you from within, a soothing balm when you have the sniffles, and a delicious meal no matter the time of day.

Depending on what soup you cook, it can also be a lot of work to make it from scratch, which is why doubling your next batch of soup is usually a good idea. Not only do you end up with more soup that way (which you can't really go wrong with), but some soups improve over time, when the flavors have had a chance to really develop (via Taste of Home). The only thing you need to keep in mind is how long all that extra soup will last, and a lot of that will depend on how you plan to store it.

Different ways of storing soup

According to the USDA, leftover soup is good for three to four days in the fridge. It's best to cool the soup rapidly before refrigerating it, which you can do by placing the container of soup into a larger container with an ice water bath, then dividing the soup into smaller containers, recommends Martha Stewart. Under no circumstances should the soup sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.

You can also freeze soup to extend its shelf life to three months. It's best to freeze soup the same day that you make it. Just be aware that creamy soups and soups containing rice, noodles, pasta, potatoes, or beans typically don't freeze as well, according to Southern Living. Use a muffin tin to freeze soup in single servings so you don't have to defrost more than you're planning to consume. Don't forget to label your soup so you know when to use it by. Thaw out the soup overnight in the fridge, or use the microwave or cold water. Reheat using the stove or microwave, and be sure to bring the soup to a boil for three minutes if it contains any meat, per Martha Stewart.