How To Freeze Dry Soup


Freeze Dried Meals

Got leftover soup but no room in the fridge or freezer? It’s a shame to throw out such a delicious meal. Having it spoil in the fridge or the countertop is even sadder. So what’s the best thing to do? Here’s how to freeze dry soup so you’ll have a comforting meal that’s shelf-stable for 25 years or more.

What are the Benefits of Freeze-Drying Soup?

Soup is very inexpensive to make. You can make your soup using leftover ham, turkey, or roasted chicken dinner. It’s a great way to use kitchen scraps that you would normally throw out.

This means you don’t have to go fancy with your recipe. The ingredients you’ll need are easy to find. They taste even better when you use the ingredients available for the season.

Freeze-dried soup also rehydrates well, especially when you blend or puree it after cooking. You only need hot water to reconstitute, and it’s ready to eat within minutes.

Since you got the water out, bringing the soup for traveling and camping is easy. A 2-serving pack barely weighs anything. You can squeeze the pack in your luggage and not worry about space and breakage.

How Should I Make The Soup?

You can cook your soup the way you cook it for your family. If you’re searching for other recipes, you can try the following:

You can follow these recipes as they are. What you need to watch out for is the use of oil and butter. Although vegetable oil is healthy and butter makes your soup creamy, they interfere with the process. Oil and fat don’t freeze, so your machine can’t take them out. They also create a film that prevents water from sublimating.

For meats, use lean cuts as much as possible. If the cooking process renders oil, let the food chill in the fridge. This will let the fat rise to the surface and solidify, allowing you to remove as much oil as possible. Alternatively, you can place ice cubes on a ladle and slide the ladle across the surface of your cold soup. Fat will stick and solidify underneath the utensil, making it easy for you to skim it off.


What Materials and Tools Do I Need?

Want to cook a huge batch of soup but wish to make your life easy? Then use these tools to make cooking and freeze-drying enjoyable, efficient, and almost effortless.

  • Crockpot – slow-cooking soup gives the best flavor. A crockpot will help you do this without having to babysit the pot.
  • Instant pot – shortens the cooking time to minutes instead of hours if you’re in a hurry.
  • Vegetable slicer – gives you uniform slices faster with less effort.
  • Strainer – to separate the liquid from the solid ingredients
  • Measuring cups and weighing scale – the more accurate your measurements are, the easier it is for you to reconstitute.

For freeze-drying, you’ll need:

  • Silicone mats or parchment paper – prevents the meal from sticking to the tray
  • Dividers – makes portioning easier for later storage.
  • Blender – blending the food before and after freeze-drying makes it easier for you to pack. This will depend, of course, on the meal you’re making.
  • Thermometer – lets you know the temperature of the food throughout the freeze-drying process. You’ll need a drill to dig the thermometer into frozen food.

How Do I Prepare the Meal For Freeze Drying?

Once you cook the soup, you can make it ready for freeze-drying.

Let the soup cool down and puree for creamy soups like lentil or butternut squash. There is no need to puree if you have a chunky, hearty soup like an Italian vegetable noodle soup or beef soup. Use a strainer to separate the liquid from the solid to make powdering the liquid easier.

When you pour the soup on the trays, ensure not to go to the brim to prevent spilling. For a better understanding, the approximate capacities of the trays are:

  • Small: 2-3 cups
  • Medium: 4-6 cups
  • Large: 7-8 cups max

Let’s say you have a medium freeze dryer. Pour only 4-5 cups of food so you’ll have room for the soup to adjust while freeze-drying. Spread everything evenly across the tray to help all the ingredients freeze dry evenly.

Do I Pre-Freeze?

Some people pre-freeze their soups, and some don’t. However, we recommend pre-freezing them on your freeze-dryer trays to help lessen your freeze-drying time.

If you’re excited to make the soup and waiting for your machine to arrive, you might be tempted to pre-freeze your soup. It’s okay to use other trays or freezer-safe bags since it’s the smart thing to do. But do be mindful of the size of the trays. The frozen state should fit in the trays comfortably. This fit means the food should not be as high or higher than the lip of the tray or wider than the tray itself. Thick chunks will take longer to freeze dry. The key to faster freeze drying is to have as much surface area as possible for the liquid to escape. To give you an idea, here are the dimensions of different Harvest Right freeze dryer trays:

  • Small: 75″ W x 14″ L x 0.75″ H
  • Medium: 7.5″ W x 18″ L x 0.75″ H
  • Large: 9″ W x 20.5″ x 0.75″ H


How To Freeze Dry Soup

What we love about our Harvest Right freeze-dryer is that it makes freeze-drying soups easy.

  1. Turn on the machine and press “START > LIQUID” even if you got solid ingredients.
  2. For room temperature food, choose “NOT FROZEN”.
  3. For frozen soup trays, select “FROZEN” and let the unit pre-cool. The chamber should be -8°F (-22 °C) or lower.
  4. Close the drain valve when the machine tells you and load the trays.
  5. Close the chamber door, double-checking the seal as you lock.
  6. Press “CONTINUE” to begin the freeze-drying cycle.

How Long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Soup?

Freeze drying your soup can take 40-54 hours, depending on how much liquid your soup has.

How Do I Rehydrate?

If you measure the weight of the food trays before and after freeze-drying, you’ll know how much water to add. However, in case you forgot, a 1:1 ratio is a safe bet then add more hot water if you need to.

You don’t have to use hot water for freeze-dried soup powder if you have a Vitamix blender. The fast rotation of the blade will be enough to heat the soup.


  • Use broth to “sautee” or soften your aromatics.
  • Go for lean meat as much as possible
  • Cook with less water as possible. But take note of the recipe, so you’ll know how much water you’ll need for reconstituting.
  • Feel free to use the ingredients you’re familiar with and comfortable with.


Soup is one of the best meals to freeze dry. The process may take longer, both from prep, to cooking and down to freeze drying. But once you’re done, it’s all worth it. You’ll thank yourself for going the extra mile when you take a spoonful. It’s effortless to reconstitute and takes seconds to minutes, depending on your ingredients. It’s a comforting dish to have when hunkering down during a cold winter or camping.

What do you want to add to your soup? Let us know in the comment section.

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