Cooled and refrigerated overnight. When reheating chowder started bubbling away like a science project. How did this happen
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Well, it's a too late this time but in the future, only add cream to the portion you are going to serve at that moment. This applies to all cream-finished soups.
In fact, you can freeze the base very well, defrost as necessary, then finish with cream, but as you found out, reheating a cream soup results in a reheated dish that is decidedly inferior to the original.
Just chalk it up as a lesson learned and move on.
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
I actually like the taste of some re-heated chowders. It is important to heat them slowly and not to boiling, especially if they have milk or light cream, which can curdle. Hope your clean up wasn't too awful.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I'm with Chris on this - reheating chowder gently has produced no problems for me. However, if I were making it to serve the next day, I would wait to finish it with the cream until reheating.
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Chris and June, I've also never had a problem reheating chowder or any other cream soup. Our cooks reheat both chowder and cream of tomato soup every night at work, but do so in a steamer. If you don't happen to have one sitting around your kitchen, hack a bain marie (basically a double-boiler) with a stainless steel bowl containing your soup set over a pot of simmering water. Give it a try, and never fear chowder again.