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Expert Techniques for Reheating Soup to Savory Perfection


Reheating leftover soup is a great way to enjoy it again without having to make a whole new batch. Here are some easy methods for reheating soup using a microwave, stovetop, or steamer.

Reheating Soup in the Microwave

The microwave provides a quick and easy way to reheat soup.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl or container. Avoid using metal bowls or containers as this can damage the microwave.
  2. Cover the bowl loosely with a paper towel, plastic wrap, or lid. This prevents splattering.
  3. Microwave the soup on high power for 2-3 minutes, stopping halfway through to stir. This allows for even heating.
  4. Allow the soup to sit for 1-2 minutes before serving. This lets the temperature equalize.
  5. Check that the soup is hot throughout. If not, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until desired temperature is reached.
  6. Stir the soup well before serving to distribute the heat evenly. Enjoy!

Microwave Reheating Tips

  • The time needed can vary based on the soup’s ingredients and quantity. Start with 2-3 minutes and adjust as needed.
  • Stirring halfway through and allowing the soup to rest afterward prevents overheating or cold spots.
  • Soups with more solid ingredients like beans, pasta, or meat may need more stirring.
  • Take care when removing the lid or plastic wrap after reheating as hot steam will escape.

Reheating Soup on the Stovetop

Using the stovetop is ideal for simmering soup to meld flavors and achieve an even, thorough reheat.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Transfer the leftover soup to a saucepan on the stovetop.
  2. Heat the soup over medium-low, stirring occasionally to distribute the heat.
  3. Once simmering, let the soup cook for 5-10 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. Stir the soup frequently to ensure even reheating.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Enjoy hot!

Stovetop Reheating Tips

  • Avoid boiling the soup excessively as this can cause it to separate or curdle. A gentle simmer is best.
  • Watch the pot closely and adjust the heat to prevent burning on the bottom.
  • Adding a splash of broth, water, or cream can help thin out thickened or evaporated soup.
  • You can also use low heat to simply warm the soup through without simmering.

Reheating Soup with a Steamer

A steamer basket provides gentle, moist heat perfect for reheating soup.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Pour the soup into a heat-proof bowl or place the bowl into a saucepan filled with about an inch of water.
  2. Set the bowl in a steamer basket. The water in the pan should not touch the bowl.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Place the steamer basket over the water, cover, and steam the soup for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Check the soup’s temperature occasionally with a food thermometer. Reheat until it reaches 165°F.
  6. Carefully remove the hot bowl from the steamer. Enjoy the soup freshly heated through!

Steamer Reheating Tips

  • Avoid overfilling the pan with water as it may boil over once simmering.
  • Check the water level frequently and replenish with hot water as needed.
  • Steaming retains moisture and prevents separating or curdling.
  • This can also be done on the stovetop by setting a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

How Long to Reheat Soup

  • Microwave: 2-3 minutes
  • Stovetop: 5-10 minutes simmering
  • Steamer: 10-15 minutes

The reheating time can vary based on the quantity and ingredients. Begin with the minimum time and check frequently.

Avoid Curdling or Separating

  • Heat soup gently and stir frequently.
  • Add a splash of liquid if soup seems too thick.
  • Don’t boil vigorously or overheat. Lower heat if boiling.


Q: Can all kinds of soup be reheated?

A: Most soups can be reheated with proper care. Cream-based or dairy-heavy soups are delicate and prone to curdling, so heat them gently. Avoid boiling. Soups with pasta, grains or eggs may thicken more upon reheating.

Q: Is it safe to reheat soup more than once?

A: No, only reheat leftovers once. Bacteria can grow rapidly if soup is repeatedly cooked-cooled-reheated. Only reheat single portions and refrigerate again for 1-2 days max.

Q: Why does my soup sometimes curdle or separate when reheating?

A: Overheating, vigorous boiling, and cooking too long can cause soup to curdle or separate. Use gentle, even heat while stirring often. If too thick, add a splash of broth or water before reheating.

Q: What if my soup isn’t hot enough after reheating in the microwave?

A: Microwave ovens can have hot and cold spots. Check the temperature, stir well, and if needed continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until piping hot. Let it sit 2 minutes before serving.

Q: Is it better to reheat soup on the stove or in the microwave?

A: The stovetop allows simmering which can improve flavor, but microwaving is quicker. Use the microwave for fast reheating but the stovetop when you have more time to let the flavors meld.

Soup Recipes

1. Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Poach chicken in broth until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken and shred with two forks.
  3. Add vegetables to broth. Simmer 10 minutes until tender.
  4. Add noodles and cook 7 minutes.
  5. Return shredded chicken to soup and simmer 5 more minutes.
  6. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Hearty Minestrone Soup

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup elbow pasta
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, carrots, celery and zucchini. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add pasta and beans. Cook 10 more minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

3. Creamy Tomato Soup

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.
  4. Return to pot and stir in heavy cream.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish bowls with chopped basil.


  • Add a splash of milk or cream when reheating thicker creamy soups. This helps prevent curdling.
  • If soup seems too thick after reheating, stir in hot water or broth a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Crusty bread or a fresh salad make tasty accompaniments to round out a soup meal.
  • Garnish reheated bowls of soup with shredded cheese, chopped herbs, or a swirl of yogurt or pesto for extra flavor.
  • Portion soup into shallow airtight containers for easy reheating and food safety. Avoid large batches.
  • When microwaving, loosen lid or cover bowl with paper towel so steam can escape and soup won’t explode.

Product Recommendation


  • Panasonic NN-SN966S – Countertop microwave with inverter technology for even heating
  • Toshiba EM131A5C-BS – Microwave with smart sensor to automatically adjust time and power
  • GE JES1656SRSS – Microwave with large 16-inch turntable for reheating big bowls
  • Breville Quick Touch BMO734XL – Presets for reheating soup, defrosting, and more
  • LG NeoChef LMC0975ST – Microwave with EasyClean interior for low-maintenance


  • All-Clad 4403 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Sauce Pan – 3 quart pan with lid, evenly conducts heat
  • Cuisinart MCP19-18N MultiClad Pro Stainless Saucepan – 4 quart capacity, tight fitting lid
  • Calphalon Premier Space Saving Nonstick Saucepan – 3 quart pan saves space, durable nonstick
  • Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Soup Pot – Holds heat evenly, stylish design
  • Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – 6 quart size, chip-resistant enamel exterior


  • Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer – Stackable baskets to steam foods separately
  • Aroma Housewares Pot and Food Steamer – Into one appliance for simplicity
  • Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer – Automatically shuts off when done
  • Cuisinart CookFresh Digital Glass Steamer – Boil-free steaming with timer
  • Rosewill Electric Food Steamer – 9.5 quart capacity, BPA free plastic

Reheating soup is an easy way to enjoy leftovers or homemade batches again. With proper methods, soups can be safely and deliciously reheated for a quick and comforting meal.

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