Can you reheat Fish Soup? (+3 Ways to Reheat)

Delicious and nutritious fish soups are the best way to enjoy the winter nights. It is easy to freeze and reheat fish soup once you know the steps to do so.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, most foods can be frozen, and this includes fish soup.

Can you reheat Fish Soup?

Yes, you can. Fish soups are very flexible foods when it comes to storage and reuse because they can be reheated and boiled.

Reheating food leftovers is necessary to reduce the risks of foodborne illnesses. You should not consume frozen or refrigerated leftovers without reheating them first, as during refrigerated storage microorganisms continue to multiplicate in food, as well during cooling and freeze-thawing procedures. 

Heat treatments are efficient and simple methods to reduce the microbial contamination of food and therefore improve their safety (7). It is important to ensure the reheating to a minimum temperature of 165°F to ensure the safety of fish soup.

How to reheat fish soup?

There are various methods to reheat fish soups, including using the microwave, the stovetop, the instant top and the oven (5).

Foods that have been cooked and cooled should be reheated to at least 165 °F. Heat cooked, commercially vacuum-sealed, ready-to-eat foods, such as hams and roasts, to 140 °F. Reheat leftovers thoroughly to at least 165 °F. Reheat sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil. 

Not Recommended: Slow cooker, steam tables or chafing dishes. Reheating leftovers in slow cookers, steam tables or chafing dishes is not recommended because foods may stay in the “Danger Zone,” between 40 °F and 140 °F too long. Bacteria multiply rapidly at these temperatures (6).

How to reheat fish soup in the microwave?

To reheat fish soup in the microwave, follow the instructions below (6):

  1. Put the fish soup in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it loosely with a microwave-safe lid.
  2. Heat the soup for 1 – 3 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir quickly. This ensures that the soup is heated evenly.
  3. Keep heating and stirring till the temperature in the center of the soup is at least 165° F.

How to reheat fish soup on the stovetop?

To reheat fish soup on the stovetop, follow the instructions below (6):

  1. Pour the soup into a pot with large sides to prevent boiling over the sides.
  2. Add 1.5 cups of water for every quart of soup, particularly if there is pasta or rice in it, or if the soup is frozen.
  3. Heat the fish soup on medium if the soup is not frozen. If it is frozen, heat on low till the soup melts, then turn up the heat to medium.
  4. Keep heating till the soup starts boiling. Boil it for at least 3 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent soup from sticking to the bottom.
  5. Turn the flame off and remove it from the burner.
  6. Check the temperature of the soup using a food thermometer. It should be 165° F, as recommended by USDA.

How to reheat fish soup in the oven?

To reheat fish soup in the oven, follow the instructions below (6):

  1. Place food in an oven set no lower than 325 °F. 
  2. Heat the soup for 30 – 60 minutes, and stir the soup every 15 minutes to homogenize the temperature inside the soup. This ensures that the soup is heated evenly.
  3. Keep heating and stirring till the temperature in the center of the soup is at least 165° F.

How to freeze fish soup?

To freeze fish soup in the oven, follow the instructions below (3):

  • You should cool the soup thoroughly before putting it in the fridge or freezer: Properly cool the fish soup for about 1 – 2 hours. Let it sit uncovered for 20 – 30 minutes. Stir now and then to release more heat.
  • When the soup has reached room temperature, seal it in containers or freezer bags. Plastic containers with tight-fitting lids prevent leaks and the spreading of smell to the freezer. Proper packaging saves freshness and keeps the product from drying out. Remember to leave the headspace of ½ inch at least so there is room for expansion
  • Place it in the freezer. Fish soups can be kept frozen for up to 2 months (3).

How to thaw fish soup?

Fish soups can be thawed by the refrigerator, cold water, or microwave. After thawing, the soup should be used within 1 – 2 days.

– Refrigerator thawing takes the longest time.

– Cold water thawing is faster than refrigeration but there is a risk of leakage if the package is not leak-proof. It can result in contamination of the soup with bacteria.

– Microwave thawing is the fastest method for thawing fish soup.

How long can you store fish soup?

Fish soups should be refrigerated no longer than 1 day and 2 months in the freezer. Normal foods can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, but fish and foods made with fish spoil faster than other foods. However, the shelf life of food depends, among other factors, on the ingredients composing the food and the hygiene conditions in which the food was prepared. 

Shelf life can be extended and foodborne illness can be reduced by proper food processing and handling practices such as by cooling products rapidly, cooking food under controlled time, and temperature conditions and packaging food under hygienic conditions (4). So, if you need to store it for any longer periods, you should freeze it in covered airtight containers.

How to know that the fish soup has gone bad?

To know that the fish soup has gone bad, you should be able to identify signs of food deterioration, such as changes in the color, the generation of off-flavors and off-odors, the growth of mold, generation of gas (bloating of packaging) and loss of texture.

Spoilage is a result of both enzymatic reactions leading to oxidation of lipids and degradation of proteins and vitamins, and the action of microorganisms, which can produce substances and toxins that negatively affect the sensory properties of the food (8).

Conclusion:

It is perfectly possible and safe to reheat the fish soup, depending on how you do it. If the proper procedures are followed to cook, store, thaw, and reheat the soup then keeping quality, flavor, as well as nutrition profile, can be preserved.

References:

  1. Igo, Matthew J., Nicole Hedeen, and Donald W. Schaffner. Validation of a simple two-point method to assess restaurant compliance with Food Code cooling rates. J food protect, 2021, 84, 6-13. 
  2. Selecting and Serving Fresh and Frozen Seafood Safety. United States Food and Drug Administration. 
  3. Freezing and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.
  4. Coorey, Ranil, et al. The impact of cooling rate on the safety of food products as affected by food containers. Comprehen Rev Food Sci Food Safe, 2018, 17, 827-840.
  5. How to reheat leftovers? United States Department of Agriculture.
  6. Leftovers and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.
  7. Jay, L. Stephen, Derio Comar, and Lachlan D. Govenlock. A national Australian food safety telephone survey. J Food Protect, 1999, 62, 921-928.
  8. Coorey, Ranil, et al. The impact of cooling rate on the safety of food products as affected by food containers. Compr. Rev. Food Sci 2018, 17, 827-840.