When deciding to store leftover potato soup, there are a few things to consider. How long is potato soup good for? And how long does it last in the fridge? Our data-backed article includes research from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and Michigan State University.
Potato soup can last up to five days in the fridge. There are numerous factors affecting food safety, including ingredients (like meat and dairy) and fridge temperature. Potato soup is also affected by how long it was left on the counter and how quickly it cooled after cooking.
Here are the details on safely storing potato soup in the fridge.
How Long is Potato Soup Good For?
There are numerous factors affecting how long potato soup remains good in the fridge.
Something to keep in mind as we discuss temperatures.
- Fridge should be 40° F (4° C) according to FDA.
- Freezer temperature should be 0° F (-18° C), also according to FDA.
- Room temperature is considered 68 to 72° F (20-22° C), according to Science Notes.
If your fridge or freezer temperatures are above the stated temperatures, food will spoil faster.
So, how long does potato soup last in the fridge, depending on these factors?
1. How Potato Soup Was Made
Let’s start with how the soup was made.
A. Preparing Dairy-Based Soup
If you’re making your soup with a cream base, you can extend the storage time by cooking the broth, meat, and vegetables first. This base may be refrigerated for up to two days before preparation is finished.
Keep in mind that adding salt can aid in curdling, so wait to add salt until serving.
When you’re ready to finish your soup, tempering the dairy will also keep it from curdling. There are two ways to accomplish this.
The first is heating the milk to 190 degrees and then adding it to the soup.
Alternatively, you can add small amounts of the heated soup to the milk mixture until the milk reaches roughly 190 degrees, then add that mixture back into the soup.
Once either of these is accomplished, you can hold the soup at a low temp for an hour or so before serving. Do not let it boil.
Add salt when serving.
B. Preparing Broth-Based or Vegan Creamy Potato Soup
When making a broth-based potato soup, the mixture can stay in the fridge for 4-5 days.
If you are making the soup with large chunks of potato, consider cooking the broth first.
On the day you’ll serve the dish, cook your potato chunks separately and add the broth so that the potatoes don’t separate and create a broken texture.
The only preparation that would require separate preparation and tempering beforehand would be one using flour or starch and dairy-free “milk.” In this case, you would heat the thickened milk substitute and slowly add the heated broth ingredients.
2. Effects of Room Temperature and Quick Cooling
Here the specifics for storing potato soup on the counter, and in the fridge and freezer.
Potato Soup on the Counter
Counter: Your soup may be left at room temperature for only up to two hours. It is after this point that bacteria can begin to make their own meal of your soup.
Or, if it’s dairy-based, this is when the milk proteins begin to clot and cook on their own, beginning the process of “going bad.”
Storing Potato Soup in the Fridge
Fridge: You want to cool the food down to room temperature within this two-hour window (the sooner, the better). Within 4 hours, the food should be taken down in temperature to 40° F (4° C).
Never put hot food directly in the fridge; the heat may compromise the temperature of the other foods in the refrigerator.
You can cool your soup by creating an ice bath with a larger container and placing the soup container in it, stirring to speed up cooling. Don’t cover your soup container; this will hold heat and slow down your cooling process.
You could also separate your large batch of soup into smaller containers and set them in a pan with some ice in the bottom. This is a good idea if you want to freeze any of your soup instead of just refrigerating it.
Freezing Potato Soup
Freezer: If you hold your potato soup in the freezer, 3 to 4 months is the best window of time for the best quality soup. Thaw it in the fridge before reheating it. Your soup may last six months or longer in the freezer, but after this point, the quality of flavor and texture may not be ideal.
More reading: How Long Does Turkey Bacon Last?
3. Ingredients Used
When selecting the ingredients for your soup, some will give you less risk of curdling than others.
For a dairy-based soup, remember that the less fat content, the higher the chance of curdling.
To prevent curdling, you can mix flour and water into a paste and add it to the milk if the milk is 2% or skim. You can also add a little heavy cream to your soup.
If you want a creamy vegan potato soup, almost any preparation can stay for 4-5 days in the fridge before serving because you’re using ingredients that hold longer than meat or dairy.
Some of the best thickening agents you can use for vegan potato soup that will keep well in the fridge include:
- Coconut milk
- Dairy-free roux
Keep reading: How Long Does Chili Last?