Rich, savory, earthy, and the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Split pea soup is a wonderful Winter dish that is not only hearty but delicious as well. Best of all, soups normally fare quite well in long-term storage. However, for those who are not familiar with home canning, can you freeze split pea soup?
Having split pea soup on hand is a spectacular way to meal prep and it will safely last for four to six months in the freezer. However, it is imperative that you hold off on adding any potatoes, bacon, or cream until you thaw and reheat the soup. These ingredients will not freeze well.
Once the soup has fully cooled, you can store it in a freezer-safe Tupperware or glass Pyrex dish, leaving just under an inch of empty space to allow for expansion. Then, simply apply a tight layer of aluminum foil over top and snap on the lid.
Conversely, you can also freeze split pea soup in freezer-safe ziplock bags. Finally, for individual portions, first, freeze the soup in a silicone muffin tray and then transfer the chunks of soup to a plastic freezer bag for quick and easy meals.
- Split Pea Soup Ingredients
- How To Freeze Split Pea Soup
- How To Thaw And Reheat Split Pea Soup
- Health Benefits Of Split Pea Soup
- Final Thoughts
Split Pea Soup Ingredients
Everyone has their own signature recipe for split pea soup, but one thing is for certain — it will contain split peas, ham, and carrots. Here is how these components will fare in the freezer!
Peas are a type of legume. This means that they are seeds that form in a pod. Similar to beans and lentils, this starchy vegetable is a fantastic option for freezing! In fact, it can span up to six months in the freezer.
This is one of the main reasons that Michigan State University’s food preservation experts note that “the best soups to can or freeze are vegetable, chili, stock, bean, seafood, tomato or split pea soups.”
The type of ham being used in the soup will determine the overall shelf life. Uncured, cooked ham will last for three to four months whereas cooked and cured varieties will only span one to two.
However, it is important to remember that this will only impact the texture of the ham, not the safety for consumption. Additionally, the meat is less likely to dry out since it will be in a thick broth.
Carrots are root vegetables, which means that they have a much longer shelf life than other plant-based foods. When cooked, carrots can span 10 to 12 months in cold storage. This makes them perfect for soups and stews!
Recommended Storage Guidelines
Vegetable-based soups can be safely stored in the freezer for four to six months. This is assuming that potatoes, creams, and heavy amounts of fat are excluded from the recipe. These ingredients can drastically change the texture and flavor of the soup.
In the case of potatoes, this starchy vegetable will absorb the broth, taking away from the creamy consistency of the soup. They will also take on a grainy texture upon thawing. Conversely, creams and fats tend to separate when frozen and then defrosted.
This can lead to more texture changes and alterations in the overall taste of the dish. Therefore, if these staple components to your signature split pea soup, wait until you defrost and reheat to add them!
How To Freeze Split Pea Soup
Step 1: Prepare Your Split Pea Soup
First and foremost, cook your split pea soup! Remember to leave out the ingredients mentioned above that could cause texture and flavor issues. Moreover, do not allow it to stew for too long. Why?
It is important to remember that liquids expand in the freezer. Since most vegetables are water-based, their cells will expand in this type of environment. This will cause them to soften, which will only continue when the soup is reheated. This can unfortunately lead to a more mushy texture.
Thus, only soak the split peas until they are firm. Then cook slowly until the carrots reach a similar consistency. Moreover, while slow cooker split pea soup is always delicious, this cooking method will bring those same consistency issues when you defrost and reheat the mixture.
Step 2: Allow The Split Pea Soup To Cool, FULLY
Once the soup has been prepared, take it off the burner and give it ample time to cool. You can leave it on the counter for just under two hours. Then, it will need to be transferred to the refrigerator. Otherwise, dangerous bacteria could begin to form.
This is an extremely important step because it will allow the soup to freeze more rapidly. Flash freezing will help limit changes in texture when you go to reheat it at a later date.
Step 3: Package The Split Pea Soup To Freeze
For this step, first, think about how much soup you made and how many people you will be serving in the future. If you intend to serve it to large groups then you can store it in bulk.
However, if it is just for one person and you don’t want to eat the same meal for a solid week, freezing individual portions is best. No matter which option you choose, make sure to keep the soup at a consistent zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Packaging Large Portions Of Split Pea Soup To Freeze
If your storage space is limited, then simply ladle the cooled split pea soup into a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Do not overfill the container. Also, make sure to leave ample space so that the soup has room to expand upon freezing.
Your goal should be to lay the bag flat in the freezer. When filled, remove as much excess air as possible, seal the Ziplock and label the bag with the date. Finally, lay the bag flat on an open shelf in the freezer. If you make enough soup to fill multiple bags, simply stack the bags once the soup has frozen to optimize storage space.
Alternatively, if space is no issue, you can use a freezer-safe plastic Tupperware or Pyrex dish to store all of the split pea soup in one convenient container. Again, make a point to leave at least ¾ of an inch of space between the top of the soup and the lid to allow for the expansion of the food.
Lastly, apply a tight layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the top and the sides of the container and then snap on the lid. Label with the date and freeze!
Packaging Individual Portions Of Split Pea Soup To Freeze
Another fantastic way to ensure that you have lunch on the go, but don’t waste a lot of freezer space, is to invest in silicone muffin trays. Then, ladle your soup into the sections and place the tray into the freezer. Once frozen, pop out the sections of split pea soup and put them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible, seal and freeze.
How To Thaw And Reheat Split Pea Soup
If you chose to freeze large quantities of split pea soup, transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge the day before you intend to consume your soup. Once defrosted, you can choose to heat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Conversely, if you froze individual portions, take the number of frozen chunks that you want for your lunch and pop them in a microwave-safe container. Transfer this to the fridge and then microwave when mealtime rolls around! This is perfect for those folks who always seem to be on the go and normally don’t have time to prepare a hearty dish to bring with them to work.
Health Benefits Of Split Pea Soup
Split peas are an amazing green vegetable to add to your diet! Not only are they high in fiber, but they are brimming with vitamins A, B, and K, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and copper. Moreover, just like beans, this legume is a fantastic source of plant-based protein.
Best of all, they are low in fat! This makes this a powerhouse meal that will keep you full for longer, in turn, aiding those who are looking to lose weight. However, it is always best to make your own split pea soup from scratch.
This gives you control over the ingredients. Canned varieties are a good alternative for a quick lunch when you don’t have time to meal plan. However, these products are extremely high in sodium. This can actually work against the cardiovascular benefits that come from this delicious dish.
No matter if you go with the sweet green peas or select the more earthy flavored yellow split peas for your soup, this mouthwatering meal is a fantastic option to have on hand! Finally, for those who want to add in their non-freezer recommended ingredients, this is where the slow cooker can come in handy. Simply add the cooked bacon, potatoes, and cream, along with your defrosted soup, and let the appliance do the work for you!
Heidi is a wife, mother, Newfie owner, writer and Meteorologist. She was born and raised in Texas and has worked in the broadcast industry for over a decade.