How Long Does Soup Last in the Fridge? [Chicken Soup, Vegetable Soup, and More]

Soup is one of the best go-to comfort foods as it is easy to make and reheat. But if you store it in the refrigerator, how long is it good for before it goes bad? How long does soup last in the fridge?

Soup lasts in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days before you can throw it out. If you need to store leftover soup longer than 3 to 4 days, you can keep it in the freezer for 3 to 6 months.

Shellfish soups will keep just for a day in the refrigerator. Cream and milk-based soup will last 1-2 days in the fridge.

Your fridge should be at the normal temperature of 40 F (4.4 C), and the soup should be cooled down slightly (to about room temperature) before putting it in the fridge. You shouldn’t put hot soup straight from the stove to the fridge.

Read on to learn more about how long soup lasts in the fridge and how to make it last longer.

How Long Does Soup Last in the Fridge?

Depending on the kind of soup, it will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days before it goes bad. This assumes that your fridge is at the standard 40 F temperature.

You’ve made a big pot of chicken noodle soup or vegetable soup and find that there’s some leftover. What do you do with it? It seems like a rightful shame to throw it out. But how do you store it? Where do you store it? You can keep it in the refrigerator and then heat it again to go with a different meal.

You can keep soup in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, and it will still be good to reheat. Do not consume soup that has been left out for more than 2 hours. Note the time that the soup was cooked. If it stays unrefrigerated past 2 hours, it has entered the danger zone for bacteria, and consuming it may cause foodborne illnesses.

Below is a chart for different soups and how long they can last in the fridge. All kinds of soup will need to be stored at 40 deg F at a constant temperature.

Chicken soup3 to 4 days
Clear soups3 to 4 days
Cream-based soups1 to 2 days
Seafood soup (with shellfish)1 day
Soups with tomatoes or anything acidic3 to 5 days

Note: Soup needs to be properly stored in the refrigerator to last the following given days. If it smells bad or tastes bad, throw it out.

how long does soup last in the fridge

How to Properly Store Soup in the Fridge

Properly storing soup in the fridge is important so that you can reheat it and enjoy it again.

The first rule in properly keeping soup in the fridge is not putting it inside when it is piping hot. When you do this, it can raise the fridge’s temperature and puts all the other food inside the fridge at risk of spoilage. Instead, let the soup cool down before putting it in the fridge. If it’s a big pot of soup, you can ladle it into smaller containers to hasten the cooling process.

Make sure that your soup is stored on a shelf that gets a constant 40 degrees F temperature to make sure that it will keep well. Also, keep your soup in a tightly sealed container to avoid contamination and spillage.

Storing Soup in the Freezer

If you need to store soup for longer than 3 to 4 days, freezing it will be a good option. Most soups will be okay to freeze, except for cream-based ones, as they tend to separate. Try to avoid freezing soup with noodles too. Noodles will stay soaked in liquid and tends to get mushy.

Freeze soup in freezer-safe, tightly sealed containers or freezer bags. When using a freezer-safe container, do not fill it up all the way. Leave about ½ inch of space because it will expand once frozen.

For freezer bags, make sure you press out all the extra air before placing it in the freezer. Freezer bags are a good option over containers because they can lay flat in your freezer, saving space.

Label your soup container with the date you stored them in the freezer. Frozen soup will stay good in the freezer for about 3-6 months.

Reheating Soup

You may reheat soup in two ways – over a stovetop or in a microwave. Here’s how:

On a Stovetop

how long does soup stay good in the fridge
  1. Pick your pot. Choose a pot that’s large enough to stir the soup in. You don’t want your soup to boil over and spill.
  2. If you have stored soup with pasta or rice from the fridge or freezer, it would have soaked up the liquid and probably need more liquid to thin it out. Add about 1 to 1.5 cups of your liquid of choice to every quart of soup.
  3. Pick your heat setting. If you are reheating soup from the fridge, turn up your heat to medium. Keep stirring so that it doesn’t lump up. If you’re heating soup from the freezer and it hasn’t been thawed, add about ½ to 1 cup water and heat on low for a few minutes until the soup thaws. After it has completely thawed, turn up the heat to medium and stir constantly.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer. Stir your soup regularly to avoid it from sticking to the pot and lumping up. Let it boil for about 1 to 2 minutes, then turn down the heat. Continue to simmer for another minute.
  5. Remove from heat and check the temperature. Turn off the heat and then remove it from the stovetop. Place a food thermometer in your soup pot to check the temperature. It should read at least 165 deg F. This temperature is advised by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service to ensure that any bacteria and germs are killed. If your soup has food chunks, the thermometer should be inserted in the food chunks, and it should read 165 deg F. If it has not reached that temperature, heat the soup again.
  6. Serve the soup into a serving bowl and enjoy.

In the Microwave

  1. Pick a microwave-safe container. Again, make sure that there is about ½ inch of space left on the top to avoid spillage. Soup can also boil over, even in a microwave.
  2. Cover your container. Your microwaveable container usually comes with a lid that is also microwave safe. Use that but do not fully cover. Loosely cover it so that it can have a vent.
  3. Pick high setting on the microwave and set the timer to 30 seconds. Open the microwave and stir the soup. Nuke it again on high for another 30 seconds. If you’re microwaving frozen soup, another 30 seconds might be needed to make it reach a boiling point.
  4. Check the temperature. Even if you’re heating the soup in a microwave, you’ll need to check the temperature and make sure that it reaches 165 deg F. This is to make sure that any bacteria in the soup is killed.

How long is soup good in the fridge? How long does chicken soup last in the fridge? Chicken soup and vegetable soup will typically last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Acidic-based soups such as tomato-based soup will last 3-5 days. Cream-based soup will last 1-2 days. Shellfish soup will last 1 day.

Now, let’s look at the proper way to thaw soup.

Thawing Frozen Soup

The ideal way to reheat soup is to thaw it out completely before reheating. Soup will taste better when heated after it has completely thawed.

To thaw it out, follow these simple steps:

  1. Place your frozen soup in its container in the fridge for about 1 to 2 days, where it will thaw while keeping cold. This ensures food safety and won’t cause any foodborne illnesses. Plan your meals so that you can place the soup in the fridge days ahead.
  2. If you don’t have days to spare to thaw it out, you can place the soup in a lukewarm water bath. Keep changing the water in the bath until the soup is all thawed.
  3. If you still do not have hours to thaw out the soup, you can thaw it halfway through. Soak in water until you can take it out easily from the container and then continue to reheat. Follow the above steps on reheating.
how long can you refrigerate soup

Soups That Won’t Keep Well

Some soups won’t keep well, even if you freeze them. Find out what they are so that you can make small batches without having any leftovers.

  • Starches basically do not freeze or keep well. Try not to make large batches of soups with noodles, rice, or other grain. The noodles or grain will absorb the liquids when you store the soup. When you reheat the soup, the starch will turn rubbery or gummy. The soup will also become starchy.
  • Soups containing potatoes will also be starchy after storing them and reheating them.
  • Do not make large batches of soups with cream or milk. They will most probably separate after storing and reheating. If you want to put milk in, use coconut milk. Coconut milk will keep better than regular milk.
  • If you’re storing milk with fresh herbs, do not add the herbs until you need to reheat. The soup will taste better and fresher if you add the herbs when you are reheating.

Soup Recipe That Stores Well in the Fridge and Freezer

This recipe has tomato puree, and tomatoes are acidic. The acid will help preserve the soup during storage.

Vegetable Soup in Tomato Puree

What you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 1 and ½ vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought is okay)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 40 grams lentils, dried
  • 1 leek, chopped finely
  • 200 grams cauliflower, separate into florets
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Dash of rosemary

Steps

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan that will hold all your ingredients together. It should be a pan with a lid. Sautee the onions in the oil. When it is almost clear, add the celery and carrots, bell pepper, and stir. Fry them for about 8 minutes. Put in the dried lentils and stir for a minute more.
  2. Pour in the vegetable broth and tomato puree. Add your thyme and rosemary. Stir well and then add the cauliflower, leek, zucchini, and garlic and then bring to a boil. Cover it with a lid. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Drop into the pot your cabbage and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add the basil and simmer for another 3 minutes. Check that all the veggies are tender. Season it with salt as well as freshly ground pepper to taste.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and then serve. Any leftovers will stay good in your refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The soup can also be stored in the freezer and will last for up to 6 months.

How long does vegetable soup last in the fridge? How long does homemade soup last in the fridge? Homemade soup should last up to 3 days in the fridge. However, it is best to eat the soup in about 2 days. If you cannot eat homemade soup within 3 days, store it in the freezer for about 3 to 6 months.

Conclusion – How Long Is Soup Good for in the Fridge?

Soup lasts in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days, provided it is kept under proper conditions, like keeping it tightly sealed in the fridge with a constant 40 F temperature.

The same length of time applies to most soups with a clear base or stock, including chicken soup, chicken noodle soup, vegetable soup, beef soup, and more.

Shellfish soups will keep just for a day in the refrigerator. Cream and milk-based soup will last 1-2 days in the fridge.

If you need to store leftover soup longer than 3-4 days, you can put the soup in the freeze for about 3 to 6 months.