Janet Groene’s Backpacker Soup Mix
Here's one big dry mix to assemble in a big batch, divide into smaller batches to suit your own needs, then complete in camp. Dried beans need soaking and long cooking, That’s why this dry soup mix does not contain them. Don’t forget to have additional ingredients on hand for each camping trip
NOTE THAT IT DOES NOT CONTAIN DRIED BEANS, WHICH REQUIRE LONG COOKING
This soup takes only 30 to 40 minutes on the stove, 10 minutes under pressure. It can also cook in a slow cooker, fireless cooker, solar cooker or in a thermos bottle. Or, make a big batch in a kettle and let it simmer over the campfire long and slow.
Serve it simply as a vegetarian/vegan soup or in dozens of different ways: with croutons, crackers, a dollop of sour cream, chopped scallions, a sprinkling of grated cheese. Make it with low-sodium tomato juice instead of water.
Make it with different types of lentils and dried peas each time. Add diced tofu, finely diced fresh vegetables, snipped pepperoni, chipped dried beef or jerky. Throw in canned tomatoes or canned or cooked chicken, turkey, ham, tuna.
1 bag dried yellow peas
1 bag dried green peas
2 bags different lentils
1 bag rice
1 bag barley
Cook’s note: after you’ve made your first batch of soups you’ll have a better idea of what ingredients to buy and in what sizes. Vary this list ad lib to make use of the many delicious types and colors of rice, lentils and dried peas. Just don’t add dried beans that require lengthy soaking and cook times.
Note use-by dates. Older peas take longer to cook. Older lentils may sprout. If you camp in a place where water is very hard, cooking takes longer too.
In a container mix the same amounts of peas, lentils and rice and/or barley. Measure into smaller bags, allowing ½ cupful for each three to four servings of soup. Do not add other ingredients yet because this mixture will need a thorough rise before using. Keep bags cool and dry.
To make soup, rinse 1/2 cup mixture well in a sieve. Bring 4 cups water to a boil with 1 each chicken, beef and tomato bouillon cubes, 2 tablespoons dried, diced onions and 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes. Add peas and rice mixture and any other optional additions . Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes or until peas, lentils and grains are tender. Serves 2 to 4.
Cook’s note: Vegetarian bouillon cubes can be substituted for chicken and beef. If you’re using powdered bouillon, substitute one teaspoon powder for each regular size cube.
Tips for the Camp Cook
* Heat 2 cups your favorite spaghetti sauce with 1/4 cup dry red wine. Serve by the half cup with 2 tablespoons cup shredded mozzarella cheese atop each cup. Serve as a dip for bread sticks, chunks of garlic bread, lightly steamed chunks of zucchini, whole cooked mushrooms or tiny meatballs.
* To make a quick cheese sauce, whisk 1 can condensed cheese soup with ½ cup milk. Heat gently. Good on campfire-baked potatoes.
* Instant potatoes are tastier when made with half chicken broth, half water. Adjust salt accordingly. The longer you allow them to steep, the better the flavor and texture.
* Mix goldfish crackers half and half with freshly popped popcorn and you have cheese curls “lite”.
CAMPGROUND POTLUCK RECIPE
Rice and Rye Pilaf
When you’re asked to bring a starch side dish to the potluck, this unusual rice blend brings new tastes to the table. It’s simple to make, affordable to serve.
1 cup brown rice
1 cup white rice
1 cup rye berries
6 cups broth or water
½ stick butter butter
Medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
Put grains in a sieve and rinse. Bring 6 cups water or broth to a boil and add grains. Cover, reduce heat and cook over low heat until grains are tender (about 30 minutes.) Meanwhile, sizzle onion in melted butter, gradually adding caraway seeds. When onion is tender fold mixture into hot grains with parsley flakes. Add salt to taste. Serves 12 to 16.
FREEZE-AHEAD RECIPE OF THE WEEK
2 pounds lean ground beef, turkey or pork
2 cups hashed browned potatoes, thawed
2 cups chopped onions
1/4 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder, oregano, chili powder
3 cups diced canned tomatoes, well drained
2 cans, 4 ounces each, diced green chilies, drained
16-ounce package grated cheese
12 to 16 burrito-size flour tortillas gently heated
Oil for frying later
Fry out ground meat, breaking it up. Spoon off any excess fat. Keep stirring over high heat while adding potato and onions.
When potatoes and onions are tender, remove from heat. In a small cup, mix spices. Lightly mix spices in with the ground meat mixture, tomatoes and chilies. Fold in grated cheese.
Place about 3 tablespoons meat mixture in the center of each tortilla. Fold sides in, then ends to form a package. Carefully wrap each tightly in a square of waxed paper. Cool completely and place packets in plastic bags.
To serve, thaw and fry in hot vegetable oil until brown and toasty. Makes 12 to 16 portions. Pass the hot sauce.