Chicken soup is a dish that has so many advantages: it’s an amazing source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also has amino acids that aid in muscle growth, Furthermore, it’s very beneficial for people who are recovering from health issues and lack of appetite, helps resist cold winter nights (it came from Northern Europe so they might know a thing or two about cold winters), and, least importantly, is one of my personal favorite dinners!
It’s easy to measure how much soup you need to make for personal consumption. However, when cooking soup for multiple people, there is the danger of still having half-a-cauldron or more of untouched soup remaining after everyone have already filled their bellies and can sip no more. You may be thinking these questions. Can you freeze chicken soup with noodles? Does it freeze well? How long does chicken soup with noodles last in the fridge?
It’s not advisable to freeze the broth with the noodles together. The noodles will get soggy from absorbing the broth and ruin the entire recipe when you thaw them. You might have to find a way to separate the noodles, as well as the garnishes, with a colander or strainer, and freeze them separately. It’s virtually the only way to preserve the texture of the soup.
After you separate the broth soup from the noodles, let them cool down to room temperature (you can accelerate the process by putting them in the fridge). You need to allow them to cool down, otherwise, you may temporally increase the temperature of the freezer, causing other items to slightly defrost. After cooling, add the broth soup and the noodles into separate airtight containers or resealable bags (preferably in single-serving portions). Finally, you can safely store them in the freezer.
One of the things you must avoid is under-filling or overfilling the containers. This is important, specifically when we speak of the broth, as liquids oftentimes expand when frozen and could break through the bag or container in the process. Nevertheless, if you under-fill the container, air will burn the broth, with undesirable results. The ideal way to do it is by measuring the space between the lid and the liquid so that it’s not above or below approximately 1 inch.
If the broth is light enough, there should be no issue. If garnishes, beans, and noodles are frozen with the broth soup, they will absorb some of it and will soften, blending with the broth and leading to a disgusting mushy mess. Make sure to separate those ingredients so that the soup preserves most of its original flavor and texture.
The noodles are a different story. The best way to make sure that the noodles retain their consistency is to cook them al dente the first time around.
It’s safe to refreeze it as long as you previously reheat the soup so it reaches 165ª F. That way, the bacteria contained within it dies and you don’t have to worry about bacterial growth while you prepare the soup for freezing. As far as the noodles go, after the second cooking, it’s very likely that they won’t resist the third one before getting too mushy or soft, thus, my advice would be to find a way to consume them and only refreeze the broth.
Chicken soup usually lasts up to 5 days in the fridge at a temperature of 40º F or lower.
If frozen, the broth has an endurance of about 6 months before starting to spoil (although Foodsafety.gov calculate that soups and stews with vegetables and meat added could remain in optimal quality for 2 to 3 months). The noodles endure more freezer time, lasting around 8 months. Both should freeze at a temperature equal to or lower than 0º F.
You can thaw it the way you usually thaw other types of food. The first tried and true method is by storing the broth in the fridge the day before. However, if you are short on time, submerging in cold water does the trick, though it still could take a few hours.
The speediest way is by emptying the broth in a microwave-friendly bowl and placing it in the microwave, setting it to “defrost”. You should stir the broth every few times to thaw it evenly. Then you have the option to reheat it in the same microwave.
The noodles can be reheated with the aid of a frying pan and a drop of oil. When they get soft enough, throw them in the hot broth.
You can likewise cook the broth directly in the microwave or pot and skip the thawing process, though ideally, you should thaw it first to give it a more consistent appearance. It’s the safest bet to do it on the microwave, though, as it’s able to heat the broth in a shorter time period and doesn’t give breathing room for bacteria to grow. When using a pot, you should add a bit of water to the bottom to avoid scorching as, initially, the broth will not provide enough liquid to boil.