You probably know the feeling when you take a spoonful of too-hot soup and burn your mouth and tongue; it stings! On the other hand, you also probably know the feeling when the soup isn’t warm enough, unpleasant, isn’t it? Well, what is the correct temperature for soup then?
This article will teach you just that, among other things that are good to know about soup, temperatures, and cooking right. But first, what’s the right temperature for soup?
In short, clear soups should be served at 210°F (99°C), creamy and thick soups at 190°F (88°C), and cold soups at 40°F (4°C) or lower. For bacteria reasons, soups should always be cooked at least to 165°F (73.8°C). For pleasant eating, the optimal temperature of warm soup is around 150F (65.5C).
As we can see, there are many temperatures to keep in mind when cooking and eating soup for many reasons. Let’s take cooking, safety, and eating reasons under the microscope and see why these temperatures are the correct ones.
1. Cooking temperatures
There are 3 main kinds of soups, and all of them require different cooking temperatures if you want the best outcome. Let’s see what these 3 categories are.
- Hot clear soups: serve at just under boiling point 210°F (99°C)
- Hot cream or thick soups: optimal serving temperature is between 190°F to 200°F (88°C to 93°C)
- Chilled soups: properly cooked, then served below 40°F (4°C)
These temperatures are determined by two things, first, for hygiene and bacteria-killing reasons. Second, you can see that with the hot soups, the temperatures are quite specific. This is because of quality reasons. Culinary experts themselves recommend these temperatures, and as a chef myself, I couldn’t agree more!
2. Hygiene reasons
Even when the optimal temperature for the clear soups are 210°F (99°C), and 190°F (88°C) for the thick and creamy, all hot soups need to reach the temperature of 165°F (73.8°C).
This is because after reaching 165°F (73.8°C), most harmful bacteria are killed during cooking. While serving the soup, it should be kept at 140°F (60°C) minimum because below that, harmful bacteria will rapidly grow, and we wouldn’t want that.
Now, when it comes to cold soups, the optimal temperature for that is 40°F (4°C) because above that, the bacteria will gain the ability to grow too rapidly to be safe.
As we can learn from these, the temperature danger zone for bacteria growth is between 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C), therefore keep the hot foods hot enough, and chilled foods cold enough, and you will nail it!
3. Eating temperatures
As we all can agree, the correct serving temperature isn’t the best eating temperature because nobody would or could eat nearly boiling soup. We all know the stages of how pleasant it is to eat soup when it’s the best, when it is still warm and ok, and when it just is too cold. Let’s see what say the experts!
- Pleasantly hot: 150°F (65.5°C)
- Still pleasantly warm: 145°F (62.7°C)
- Fine, but definitely not hot anymore: 140°F (60°C)
- Would require re-heating: 135°F (57.2°C)
As for cold soups, serving it below that 40°F (4°C) is both safe and pleasant to eat!
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What temperature should soup be cooked to
As a rule of thumb, all soups should be cooked at least to 165°F (73.8°C) because after that, most harmful bacteria will die, and it is safe to eat. In addition, clear soups should be cooked to 210°F (99°C), and thick or creamy ones to 190°F (88°C) for quality reasons.
How hot is too hot for soup
According to multiple surveys, at 180°F (82.2°C), soup is simply beginning to be too hot to be consumed. However, this greatly varies between people, and some could eat even above 180°F (82.2°C), whereas others couldn’t eat soup at 170°F (76.6°C).
How long should you cook soup
In general, a good time to cook soup is around 30 minutes, depending on which kind of soup you are preparing. For soup that haves physical pieces of veggies and meat, 30 minutes is the optimal time to cook them well without them breaking to mush or get overcooked.
If you are preparing a puréed soup, you can cook the ingredients for 30minutes, then purée it in a blender. Afterward, you can let the soup simmer for hours or even days. In fact, some soups are called ”never-ending soups” that are always simmering, and the ingredients are replenished when needed.
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Does soup taste better the longer you cook it
In short, the longer the soup simmers and cooks, the more flavor it will extract from the ingredients and spices to the dish. However, if you cook soup with vegetable and meat pieces, be careful not to overcook them, making the ingredients fall apart into mush.
What is the minimum temperature for reheating food
When reheating food, it needs to reach the temperature of 165°F (73.8°C) for at least 15 seconds. This is because it needs to reach the temperature where bacteria will die to be hygienic to eat again. Also, don’t reheat previously cooked food more than once.
Why is my soup thick
For example, if the soup has been simmering a while, the water will slowly evaporate, making the soup thick. Also, heavy cream or corn stretch will add thickness to your soup. Finally, if you puree soups, it can result in a thicker texture than anticipated if you didn’t have enough liquid.
Should you cover soup while simmering
Whether you want the soup to evaporate the liquid, you can keep the cover on or off while simmering. However, if you keep the lid on, you need to supervise it because it will generate pressure and higher temperatures, which can cause intense boiling and overflow.
How do you fix bland soup
You can fix soup in various ways. You can add a broth cube, spices such as salt and pepper, or add seasoned heavy cream to add flavor. Also, you can use ingredients such as onion, garlic, and chili to give it a taste boost. However, it’s good to remember that soup will enhance the flavors over time.
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It’s good to remember that when trying to get the temperature of the soup right, you need to keep cooking, tasting, and health in mind. Playing with the temperatures can be quite difficult at first; however, after a while, you will quickly catch up, and making soup will become one of your favorite foods to cook!