Can you freeze Panera broccoli cheese soup? [Shelf Life & Freezing Process]

Panera broccoli cheese soup is easy lunch or dinner that hits the spot right when you consume it when fresh. When you cannot consume this savory meal within one serving, all you need to do to increase its shelf life is; freeze it!

Freezing is one of the most ideal ways to store leftover foods while maintaining their freshness. If you are a soup lover, chances are that you have come across multiple Panera broccoli soup cheese recipes, which are good to use when you want to make big batches of soup that could last you about a week or two if you preserve it right. Freezing food in small portions is quite advantageous as it caters to the days when you are too busy to make food recipes from scratch. Even so, one thing you may need to keep in mind is that different soups freeze differently, and for this reason, the freezing process is different for each.

So, can you freeze Panera broccoli cheese soup, and how do you go about it? Yes, you can freeze Panera broccoli cheese soup to increase its shelf life. In as much so, it is slightly challenging to freeze. First, because it has broccoli which may turn mushy if you aren’t careful, and secondly because it is cream-based and can turn gritty, mushy, and quite unappetizing if you do not prepare and freeze it right.

What happens to Panera broccoli cheese soup when you freeze it?

Unlike the broth-based broccoli soup, Panera broccoli cheese soup has a significant amount of dairy in it because cheese is its primary ingredient. In general, the cheese positively contributes to its healthy protein levels and overall soup richness. Even so, the creaminess of the soup tends to tamper with its freezing levels.

When you freeze your favorite Panera broccoli cheese soup, what happens is, the dairy products in it tend to separate into several liquefied layers. When this happens, you may notice a yellow layer in the freezing container and texture changes on the soup when you take it out of your freezer. Also, you may notice that the soup curdles when you are reheating it.

Curdled soup isn’t necessarily unhealthy for consumption, but you may not like what it tastes like. If you notice some curdling when reheating, remove your soup from the heat source and allow it to cool off. Afterward, whisk it as you add a little lemon juice or cream to bring it back to its normal consistency.

How long would Panera broccoli cheese soup keep in your fridge and freezer?

You can keep Panera broccoli cheese soup in your refrigerator for up to 4 days, however, you may notice some kind of changes in its flavor and texture within the first three days, so you are better off consuming it by then.

All in all, refrigerating is only as successful as your storage conditions. It may not work in your favor if you left out your soup for more than two hours after preparation. This is mostly because temperature bacteria may have already built up in your soup by then. Also, you would need to transfer your soup into airtight containers to ensure that air does not get to the soup. This significantly prevents fast spoilage.

When freezing, it can stay in the freezer for a maximum of two months. In as much as it would be safe for consumption after two months, you may need to add more ingredients to adjust its flavor. Also, it tends to turn sour due to its high diary content. For this reason, you should consume it within the first one and a half months of freezing.

A summary table on the shelf life of Panera broccoli cheese soup

Type of Soup
How long it would keep in your counter top
How long it would keep in the refrigerator
How long it would keep in the freezer
Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
For a maximum of 2 hours after preparation
For 3-4 days
For a maximum of 2 months

So, how can you freeze broccoli cheese soup?

Once you have already prepared the Panera broccoli cheese soup, allow it to cool down before packing it for freezing. Leaving it in a large bowl or container may take longer to cool, and this creates room for the growth of temperature bacteria. For this reason, you would need to disperse it into smaller containers or put it in an ice bath for faster cooling so that you can freeze your soup within two hours of cooking.

Small containers work pretty well for the freezing process but, if you are keen on storage space, you may want to store your soup in freezer bags which are often small and can be placed on top of each other to create more space. All in all, stockpiling your soup in small portions allows you to reheat the exact amount that you would consume in one sitting. That is quite advantageous because you are advised not to refreeze broccoli cheese soup after reheating it, mainly because refreezing creates an environment for the growth of harmful bacteria that may cause food poisoning

Lastly, you need to label your containers or freezer bags to effortlessly identify the consumption time frame and type of soup only if you are storing multiple soup types concurrently. Once you have done all these, you can finally place your broccoli cheese soup into the freezer and consume it at your convenience.

Final Thoughts

When you want to reheat your Panera broccoli soup ensure to check for any signs of spoilage. Check for mold, confirm its smell and ensure that you do not find a yellow layer over the soup. Even after reheating, taste it to confirm its consumption levels. If you notice a strange first bite or a strange smell, throw it out immediately.

FAQs

  1. Why is my Panera broccoli cheese soup grainy? Why does it seem curdled?

Curdling and a grainy texture happen if the cooking/reheating temperatures are too high. The proteins in your cheese tend to tighten up then begin to squeeze out a large amount of fat. When this happens, the consistency of your soup is ruined.

  1. How many calories are there in Panera broccoli cheese soup?

You will find about 360 calories for one bowl of Panera broccoli cheese soup. You may want to avoid this if you are on a diet.