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Can You Freeze Dry Soup
You bet you can freeze dry soup. You can freeze dry homemade soups, canned soups, leftovers, and more. There’s no wrong way to store soup.
One of the reasons we would love to freeze dry soups is because soup is pretty much a meal in itself. Have you ever sat down to a bowl of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich and thought it wasn’t enough? Or had a stew and felt like it wasn’t filling enough? Not usually.
Soups can fix a cold, cure a flu, dispel winter’s chill, and give you an alphabet experience. In our house, we love soup in so many different varieties.
Once we started freeze drying soups, I knew we were in this for the long term.
Why Would You Freeze Dry Soups
Besides always needing comfort foods in stressful situations (hello, SHTF), soups often come in cans and canned goods do have a shorter expiration date than those that have gone through the lyophilization process. Research has freeze dried foods lasting as long as 25 years (I’m not old enough to test this as yet, but I’m coming up on 4 years for some of my items and they’re coming out awesome!)
We definitely do other comfort foods like candies, ice cream, and cakes. But when you want savory comfort foods, those just won’t cut it. And yeah, we all love rotisserie chicken and raw eggs, but I’m talking about let’s eat NOW and I want a meal kind of food.
When you want to extend the life of that food you have in cans, freeze drying soup is a great place to start.
Before we get started on the how, let’s talk a bit about the what.
What Kinds Of Soups Can I Freeze Dry
I feel like this is a good question, but the easier way to answer would be to ask what kinds of soups CAN’T I freeze dry, which would be pretty much nothing. I haven’t found a soup that resisted the freeze dryer in any means. What you’re looking at mostly is the fat content.
So, how long will it stay good after it is freeze dried and how long will the process take.
Over the years and my hundreds and hundreds of loads, I’ve learned that the thicker soups take the longest to freeze dry AND reconstitute. But they’re also the ones that pack the most bang for your buck, right?
We usually freeze dry our favorites; chicken noodle, clam chowder, stew, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, vegetable (any kind), and tomato. My husband doesn’t love split pea and I keep trying to get him to put some on trays, but he’s resistant. Hey! I want to eat my favorite during the end of the world, too, people!
How Do You Prep For Freeze Drying Soup
Let’s get into some steps next.
The first thing we do is pick out what soup we’re going to put on each tray. In the following steps we’re going to go with the cream of mushroom soup. We’re not picky about what we have. We go with generic brands of soups. Gotta save our pennies.
We empty the cans on the trays. The contents tend to plop out which is kind of a funny sound and we all make fun of it.
Obviously two cans isn’t going to be enough for this tray. Especially for not how full I push mine. I go to the limit!
Obviously once you have the soup on the trays, you’re going to spread them out. This step makes it easier to see what amount works best for your tray size and can contents.
Once the soup is spread out and ready, you’ll put the trays into the freezer for a pre-freeze.
You can opt out of this if you choose, but I wouldn’t. There are too many variables that go into what can happen, if you don’t prefreeze. I know there are success stories out there of people who don’t prefreeze and all of that. Good for them. I’m just recommending that you play it safe.
What Soups Can I Freeze Dry At Home
This right here is a huge reason for why I wanted to start freeze drying. My fifth child is a soup specialist. He loves it. LOVES it. He asked me what would happen to soup, if we needed our food storage. I promised I’d make him some out of ketchup but it was a valid concern.
Well, we love all kinds of soups. As you can see above, we’ve done soups like chicken noodle (also below) and creamed soups. We’ve done stews, fajita soups, taco soups, chilis, and more.
Essentially, you can freeze dry any soup you can eat.
Before Freeze Drying/Post Prefreeze
Note how full this tray is of chicken noodle soup. This is a homemade version of our favorite soup.
After Freeze Drying Approximately 48 hours
The same tray after freeze drying, you can see how the soup itself has pulled away from the edges and the carrots have taken on a less “bright” look. When I bag these, I break them into squares and put them into the mylar bags with an oxygen absorber before sealing with my heat sealer.
How Do I Reconstitute Freeze Dried Soups
Just add water. I know it sounds simplistic, but I wasn’t kidding when I said adding soups to your freeze drying line up is so important. It’s the easiest to reconstitute. You can add water of any temperature or none at all – just eat it dry and drink some water with it. You can choose how thick or runny your soup is as you add your water.
You can put it into a pot over a fire and add water or put it in a bowl and microwave it. All that matters is that you add water in some form or manner.
HOW DO I FREEZE DRY SOUPS?
Many people think it’s next to impossible to do the freeze drying for themselves. This is far from factual. Freeze drying at home is made easy by Harvest Right. They sell three different sizes of freeze-drying machines that do everything in the machine – except prep and package.
That’s up to you.
For all intents and purposes, here at Freeze Drying Mama we use the medium sized freeze dryer. You can check out the sizes offered at Harvest Right here.
What this machine does is first freeze the items on stainless steel trays to -41 degrees or lower. This takes about 10 hours or so.
Then a vacuum pump turns on and creates a vacuum inside the drum. This is the drying stage and will vacillate the heat of the tray up and down to a pretty warm temperature. This makes the frozen items release any water in them in vapor form. The vacuum sucks the moisture to the drum. This collects in ice form on the inner circle of the drum.
Then there’s the final dry which is essentially the same thing, but with a time associated with it and an end in sight!
WHAT SETTINGS DO I USE TO FREEZE DRY SOUPS?
On the Harvest Right freeze drier – this works on all sizes – after putting the trays inside the drum on the shelves, I put in the drum cover and then tighten the handle as I lock it shut. On the computer touch screen, I selected START > LIQUID > FROZEN > CONTINUE. After inputting the settings and making sure my drain tube was closed, I walked away.