How to prepare this "Big Soup" in advance for hearty meals at camp - or at home!
Kevin Ride of the YouTube channel "Kevin Outdoors" has a passion for the outdoors - AND eating well in camp! He has been backcountry tripping for over 25 years. Over that time, he has been perfecting recipes and experimenting with dehydrating these meals and campsite cooking techniques.
One of the recipes in Backcountry Eats that you will look forward to after a day of adventure, especially in the cold and rain, is Minestrone Soup. This recipe can be prepared as a vegetarian meal, or you can add diced chicken, ham, or sausage crumbles. You can serve this as a satisfying soup, or thicken the base with a little flour or dumplings for a "rib-sticking" stew.
In Kevin's original recipe, he prepares his Minestrone Soup from scratch. He then dehydrates the cooked soup and packages the dried mixture for preparation at camp. Home-cooked, dehydrated meals are a great alternative to expensive "camping meals" that have skimpy portions and are overloaded with salt and preservatives.
But home dehydration has its limitations. First, preparing any recipe from scratch is time-consuming. You must first invest your time in shopping, then the preparation of the fresh ingredients.
Second, cooking the soup and then dehydrating it takes MANY hours - and that is assuming that you have the dehydrator and unlimited 120-volt power. This eliminates most RV and van dwellers, along with many apartment dwellers and those living in tiny homes.
Third, the base Minestrone Soup recipe is vegetarian. If you choose to add meat you add another step in the process since all meats need to be dehydrated longer and at a higher temperature than the vegetarian soup. After the added work, many dehydrated meats have the flavor and consistency of gravel in your meals.
So what is the alternative? Thrive Freeze-Dried Foods!
By substituting freeze-dried foods, you can eliminate both the initial food prep and cooking, along with the entire process of dehydrating your food storage meals. For Minestrone Soup it is possible to assemble the recipe from Thrive freeze-dried foods: diced onions, celery, and tomatoes, beans and spinach. To these vegetables you would add the dried parsley and oregano, then chicken bouillon. If you choose to add meat, add in sausage crumbles, ground beef, or grilled chicken.
When it is meal time - at camp or at home - the preparation consists only of boiling water and adding the pasta. When the pasta in slightly underdone, add the dried ingredients and simmer for another ten minutes. In less time than it takes to explain the recipe, you are ready to serve a complete meal!
Kevin has complied over 100 recipes in his new book, Backcountry Eats. This new book is an invaluable resource for meal planning, food dehydration techniques, and cooking and baking options. The content will help you prepare better meals in less time, and at a savings over prepackaged "camping meals".
Remember: you can substitute freeze-dried vegetables and meats in any recipe. This includes your favorite cookbook or Backcountry Eats. If you have neither the time, prep space, or food dehydrator you can still enjoy fast and flavorful meals in camp. I highly recommend this book for all backcountry travelers including backpackers, canoe trippers, as well as van dwellers and overlanders who want to save time, water, and cooking fuel. Click HERE to order your copy.
Want to learn more about the amazing possibilities of freeze-dried foods? See the related posts here at The Great Out There. To see the full selection of Thrive freeze-dried meats, vegetables, fruits, and more - CLICK HERE You can save a WHOPPING 27% off the retail price with every order of $99.00 or more!