Why Soup Tastes Better the Next Day (Most of the Time)

published Jan 28, 2015
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

My love of soup comes from my grandmother, who had a big pot of Chinese soup bubbling on the stove a few times a week. She was emphatic about cooking dinner from scratch every night, since she argued that it tasted better that way, but soup was the one thing she made one day and served over the course of the next few days. And you know what? She was right — soup just tastes better the next day!

Why Soup Tastes Better the Next Day

Letting a finished pot of soup hang out overnight means that harsh flavors soften, the ingredients have a chance to absorb the tasty broth, and everything transforms from very distinct flavors into one harmonious soup.

The same is true for a lot of pasta sauces, braises, stews, and chilis.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Making Soup Ahead Is Convenient

Another reason why it’s worth making soup the day before? Since many soups take time to simmer to extract flavor from bones and meat, or ingredients like beans just need to cook for a long time, it can be a bit stressful timing a soup to be served for dinner. Instead, let your soup simmer on a lazy weekend afternoon, during dinner, or even overnight in the slow cooker. Just heat and serve the soup later when you’re ready to eat.

Soups That Shouldn’t Be Made Ahead

Of course, not all soups fare well the next day. If it’s thickened with eggs or cornstarch, the texture might not hold up. And of course, hold off on these 10 other things, like seafood and fresh herbs, that should always be added to soup at the last minute!