Packing lunch boxes can be a challenge as you aim to keep food fresh and hot food hot. Here’s how to keep soup warm until lunch time when packing it.
There’s a calendar for our activities. A calendar for my work schedule. And a calendar for dinner plans. On that same meal calendar, my kids also mark which two days each week they’ll be buying lunch. Sound a little complicated? It can be. But that’s how busy schedules are.
On the days when my kids aren’t buying lunch, I like to pack them nutritious food to nourish them through the school day. Each weekend, I make sure my pantry is packed with everything I need for quick and easy lunches for their lunch boxes — ones that will be good for them.
Recently, Campbell’s challenged me to make a delicious lunch using their Homestyle Light soup. The variety I was sent was the new Campbell’s Homestyle Light Baked Potato with Bacon and Cheese. So I heated it up and got it ready to send with my kids for lunch.
This soup is creamy, and dotted with bits of bacon, potatoes and more.
My kids love soup for lunch, especially when it’s a tasty variety like this (did you know that there are 29 varieties of Campbell’s Homestyle Soup to choose from?). And if I can’t make soup myself — though sometimes I do — I love sending them a good soup that’s filled with veggies and other quality ingredients and no added preservatives. It’s better.
But two things: 1) I wanted to let them personalize it at school and 2) I wanted to make sure it remained hot.
For the personalization, I packed toppings for their soups. Some of our favorites? Chopped grape tomatoes, chopped red bell peppers and the classic — crackers. I also love hot sauce, but that’s just me — they prefer their soup non-spicy.
But the trick to this? That comes in the technique for keeping it warm.
How to Keep Soup Warm Until Lunch Time in Lunch Boxes
Start by heating up the soup. You can stick it in the microwave, but I find the stove to be just right for this. I usually heat it on a burner set a medium until it’s bubbly. Though it’s too hard to eat then, it will be just right come lunchtime.
Next, heat up the thermos. I prefer metal thermoses for this, because I feel like they keep the heat better — and my kids tell me the same thing. What you want to do is to fill the thermos with hot water. It could be boiling, but very hot water is really all you need. Seal the container and let it sit while you finish heating the soup.
Fill the container. Once the soup is ready, empty the water from the thermos (and dry, if you wish) and then fill it with the bubbling hot soup. Seal the container immediately — and really well.
Pack it in the lunch box. And don’t forget a spoon!
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.