Homemade Cup of Soup: It’s What’s for Lunch at Hunting Camp

By ERIN TURNER

This past week our house was the center of hunting chaos!  My husband and oldest son were gearing up for a long weekend of hunting with my dad.  So, there were stacks of bins in our hallways filled with gear, ammo, food and clothing.

This is our son Ethan’s 3rd season of hunting and he lives for this time of year.   I’m pretty sure his life-long passion for the sport stems from our whole family’s interest and excitement over it.  One of the things, Jon and I talk about throughout the year is food for hunting camp.  We are always trying to invent healthy, packable and good-tasting meals to enjoy during a hunting weekend.   We’ll spend a better part of a day making suggestions and then tweaking the ideas until we think we’ve come up with the perfect hunting food.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Ethan came to me and said he had come up with an idea for packing a homemade version of Cup ‘o Soup!   Both Jon and I were pretty proud of him for thinking so long and hard about, how to accomplish it and how to master it.  It was such a cool idea, I decided I needed to share it with you this week!

dried vegetables

Place peas, carrots, corn, beans and lima beans in the dehydrator until completelydry.

Now, as we were making these Cup ‘o Soup look-a-likes, I quickly realized they weren’t going to be cheaper than the commercial brands AND it was going to require a bit of time.  So, this recipe doesn’t necessarily fall into my normal “Frugal and Easy” blog style.  But again, it’s a pretty cool idea and to think that a 14 year old boy came up with it makes it worth sharing!

The one thing this recipe has going for it, over the commercial brands, is how much healthier it is than what you get on the store shelf.   Using fresh vegetables and controlling the amount of sodium is a huge plus.

Okay, so Ethan suggested taking a vegetable mix of peas, carrots, corn, beans and lima beans and putting them in the dehydrator until completely dry.  You can use fresh veggies from your garden or the market or a bag of frozen works fine as well.  Have fun using a variety of veggies and customizing it.  Spread the veggies out on your dehydrator trays and turn on.  It took our veggies about 8-10 hrs to thoroughly dry.  Test them (especially the bigger pieces) to make sure they are hard and not still pliable.

ramen

Add a generous tablespoon of chicken stock/bollioun and ramen noodles to your driedveges.

Once they are dry, then it goes really fast and easy from here.   After some discussion about what to put the soup in to, we decided that plastic sandwich bags would be the best choice.  They are packable and unlike the foam cups from the commercial brands, they won’t crack when packed tightly in a backpack.

Now, when my guys hunt they use metal canteens which have a metal coffee cup attached to them.  So, they planned on pouring the contents of the soup bag into the mug and pouring boiling water over it.  If you have a different system, you may have to accommodate for a packable mug or another suitable container.

So, we took a large handful of dried veggies and put them into the baggie then added a generous tablespoon of powdered chicken stock/bouillon.  We have some wonderful powdered stock from the Amish.  So it has bits of parsley in it and has a rich, flavorful taste.

Finally, we took Ramen noodles and smashed them up into small pieces.  We added those noodles to our bag and zipped it up!   We used Ramen noodles versus standard noodles because we needed them to cook quickly at hunting camp.  We decided sometime we’ll play with the idea of cooking up some angel hair pasta and then dehydrating them to see if that will work.  I saved the flavor packets from the Ramen noodles for another use in the future.

These little baggies of home-cooked goodness tucked nicely into Ethan’s pack.  I’m anxious to hear how they worked for him and if he has any tweaks or additions for future hunting trips.  I suspect he’ll want to add in some actual bits of chicken.  Another project for our over-active dehydrator!

I love this idea for fresh, home-style chicken noodle soup at hunting camp or anytime.  As I said earlier, it is definitely cheaper and easier to pick up a Cup’o Soup at the store but this is a much healthier alternative!  Aside from the time it took for the veggies to dry, it is a super easy and quick thing to put together.

Kudos to our son for coming up with the idea and the procedure. Listening to Ethan describe this method for making Chicken Noodle soup for hunting camp  was one of those cool milestones which parents get to experience when their kids become passionate about something and make it their own!

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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