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How Long Is Pea Soup Good For?

From the fridge to the deep freeze, here’s all you need to know about keeping your pea soup delicious, safe, and ready for your next meal.

Pea soup: this hearty, satisfying soup, packed with the rich flavor of peas and often a touch of ham or other smoky ingredients, is the ideal pick-me-up on a cold day or whenever you crave a warm, comforting bowl.

Its combination of peas, occasionally ham or other meats, and seasonings makes for a dish that’s not only delicious but also a great way to incorporate veggies and protein into your meals.

But let’s be realistic, as appealing as pea soup is, you might not finish every last drop in one go (it’s understandable!). So the question arises—how long does pea soup stay fresh? Does it enhance its deep, savory flavor over time, or does it lose its appeal once it cools down?

When it comes to saving that leftover pea soup for another day, what’s the best way to preserve it? Is the fridge fine, or can it withstand the chill of the freezer?

If these questions are stirring in your mind, you’ve landed in the right place. This article has the answers you need.

Shelf Life of Canned Pea Soup

One of the best things about canned soup is its impressive shelf life, earning it a regular spot in kitchens worldwide.

Unopened canned pea soup can last anywhere from 2-5 years if stored in a cool, dry location. The ‘best by’ date on the can is typically a conservative estimate from the manufacturer of when the soup will be at its peak quality.

Even after this date, the soup is likely safe to eat, though its flavor and texture may deteriorate over time. Once opened, canned pea soup has a similar shelf life to homemade soup; see the guidelines provided earlier.

How Long Pea Soup Lasts Once Opened

How long pea soup lasts once you’ve cooked or opened it depends on how you store it.

Generally, if you leave pea soup out, it will only stay good for 1 to 2 hours. When refrigerated, it can last for 3 to 4 days. And if you freeze it, it will maintain its quality for about 3 to 4 months.

Left Out: 1–2 Hours

If you leave pea soup at room temperature, it can last for about 2 hours. However, on hot days when it’s 90°F (32°C) or higher, pea soup only stays good for about 1 hour.1United States Department of Agriculture (2023, March 24). What is the “2 Hour Rule” with leaving food out? AskUSDA. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/What-is-the-2-Hour-Rule-with-leaving-food-out

Refrigerated: 3–4 Days

If you keep pea soup in the fridge, at a temperature of 40°F (4.4°C) or below, and store it in a jar, food container, or the original bottle or carton in case you bought it from the store, it will last for about 3 to 4 days.2U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2021, September 20). Cold Food Storage Chart. FoodSafety.gov. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/cold-food-storage-charts

Frozen: 3–4 Months

Technically speaking, you can keep frozen pea soup for as long as you want because freezing pauses the growth of bacteria.3U.S. Department of Agriculture (2013, June 15). Freezing and Food Safety. Food Safety & Inspection Service. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/freezing-and-food-safety With that being said, it is best to eat it within 3 to 4 months to enjoy it at its freshest and highest quality.

Keeping Your Pea Soup Fresh

Pea soup really hits the spot when it’s warm and bursting with the savory goodness of peas.

If you’re not planning to finish your soup right away, it’s important to know how to store it so it remains tasty and doesn’t spoil.

Here’s the deal:

Storing Pea Soup in the Fridge

Firstly, pour your pea soup into a clean, sealable container. Mason jars work great, but if you don’t have those, any food-grade storage container with a tight lid will do. Then pop it into the fridge.

Aim to consume the pea soup within 3-4 days. The cold temperature in the fridge slows down the bacteria that cause food to go bad, but it can’t stop it entirely.

Freezing Pea Soup

If you’ve made a large pot of pea soup and can’t finish it within a few days, or you want to save some for a cozy night in, then freezing is your best option. You’ll need a clean, tight-sealed container that can handle the frost of the freezer.

Remember to leave about an inch of space at the top of the container because the soup will expand as it freezes. This might take a few hours. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, move the frozen pea soup to the fridge about a day in advance.

And that’s the scoop—pea soup is pretty straightforward to store, and it’s great to have some ready for those chilly evenings or when you need a quick meal.

Taking care in storing it ensures each serving is as tasty as the first one, so don’t skip these steps!

How to Tell If Your Pea Soup Has Gone Bad

Found an old container of pea soup hiding in the back of your fridge?

Or are you just not sure if it’s still good to eat? Like any soup, pea soup can go bad if it’s been left untouched for too long, and trust me, eating spoiled pea soup is not a pleasant experience.

Here are some signs that your pea soup might have gone bad:

  • Time: If your pea soup’s been out for more than 1-2 hours or hiding in the fridge for over 3-4 days, it’s safer to throw it away, even if it looks okay. The bacteria that can make you sick don’t always change how our food looks, smells, or tastes.
  • Smell: Fresh pea soup has a hearty, appealing aroma. If you open your container and it smells off or unpleasant, it’s time to say goodbye to your soup.
  • Color: Good pea soup usually has a rich, appetizing color. If it’s turned a different color or looks strange, it’s better to play it safe and throw it away.
  • Texture: Pea soup should be thick and smooth. If it’s slimy or excessively thick, your soup might be past its prime.
  • Taste: This should be your last test. If your pea soup passes the other checks but tastes strange, it’s time to let it go.

Remember, when in doubt, throw it out! It’s always safer to be cautious. Pea soup is easy to make, so there’s no need to take unnecessary risks.

Just cook up a new batch and savor the rich, comforting flavors of this classic soup.

Wrapping It All Up

And there you have it, home cooks!

This is your comprehensive guide to not just enjoying this hearty, delightful soup, but also making sure it stays as fresh as the day you made it, for each and every serving.

Remember, whether you’re storing your pea soup in the fridge or the freezer, it’s easy to keep it fresh for those cozy nights if you follow these straightforward storage steps we’ve shared.

And always remember, if your pea soup seems a bit off—be it in smell, color, texture, or taste—it’s always safer to throw it away. Better safe than sorry!

Know your author

Written by

Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained cook with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.