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"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Slow Cooker Amazon

author
Maria Garcia
• Monday, 17 January, 2022
• 8 min read

FREE Shipping by Amazon Featuring three separate 1.3 liter pots, you can make delicious meals without spending all day in the kitchen.

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(Source: www.theyummylife.com)

Contents

It is really worth getting the larger one (and the oval shape is good) if you plan to do joints in it. Also like Mac dog, I make larger quantities and freeze.

These recipes are perfect for busy people because you can cook them on Sunday and have ready-to-eat meals for the rest of the work week! Planning your meals ahead of time will decrease your grocery bill and reduce impulse purchases.

Additionally, it will make you less tempted to eat out during the week if you know you have delicious and healthy meals waiting for you! These recipes are homemade, healthier, tastier alternatives to cup-a-soup packets from the store.

These light, portable, instant recipes all began as a way to help my husband (aka King-Man) eat well on his frequent backpacking trips by simply adding boiling water to them. Hot soups are a good way to help hikers rehydrate quickly and add some needed calories after a day on the trail, so these have become an appetizer of sorts for King-man on his hikes before he eats his main meal.

Backpackers and campers love these soups, but they're also great for a quick on-the-go meal for travel, the office, or dorm rooms. My recipes are so much better for you than the cup-a-soup packets that you'll find at the store; those are loaded with sodium and mystery ingredients.

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I searched for and tested numerous products to find those with the best nutrition and flavor. They are all available on Amazon, but I've also found many of the ingredients at my local grocery store, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods.

All the ingredients in these recipes are dried, so they have a longer shelf life (at least 1-2 months), and they are light and easy to carry along with you. Most of these recipes can be easily adapted by omitting meat and making substitutions.

This post is filled with lots of tips and suggestions for assembling your own instant soups. Freeze-dried ingredients aren't often used in everyday kitchens, so I thought a detailed explanation was needed in order to assemble these soups in a way that they will have an extended shelf life.

First I'll explain the variety of ingredients used in these soups followed by what is used in each of the individual 8 recipes. All the soup mixes rehydrate quickly (9-10 minutes) when soaked in boiling water.

The rice can remain a bit chewy if you want to be able to eat quickly--it requires more soak time to soften. So, if you're making these soups to rehydrate by letting them soak in boiling water, I recommend using the white Minute rice.

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This is a great option for backpackers who need something to be ready fast. Check package directions and look for noodles that normally cook in 4 minutes or less on a stove top (like the ones pictured below); longer cooking pastas won't soften quickly enough when soaked in boiling water.

I used the quick 3 1/2 minute rating pasta (purchased at my local grocery store) for the Minestrone Instant Soup Mix, because it has an authentic shape for that recipe and it rehydrates quickly. My favorite of all the noodles is the Millet and Brown Rice Ramen; it rehydrates quickly and is really tasty and nutritious.

I use kitchen shears to cut the longer noodles into smaller pieces for easier eating. I found these healthy ramen noodles at Costco; they're also available on Amazon.

Note about noodles for backpackers: If you're taking these instant meals on the trail and plan on cooking them in their plastic bag, avoid thin “spiky” pasta that may poke through the bag and make holes. Or, rehydrate your soup in a pan or bowl so the stability of the bag isn't an issue.

Vogue Cuisine Chicken or Beef Base is added to all 8 recipes. I did a lot of shopping around to find a flavor booster similar to bouillon but without chemicals, mystery ingredients, and excessive sodium.

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The Vogue Cuisine brand uses real, natural, gluten-free ingredients and it does a lot to enhance the flavor of the 8 instant soup recipes. Vegetate is a tasty flavor enhancer if you prefer to make a vegetarian soup.

Additional tasty dried ingredients that boost flavor in the instant soups: Look for a good quality canned variety to add flavor to the potato soup.

This is a main ingredient in the broccoli cheddar soup, and it tastes amazing. This adds a touch of lime flavor to the Thai coconut milk soup.

Freeze-dried veggies (Karen's Naturals brand) rehydrate instantly in boiling water and taste surprisingly fresh. I used the mixed vegetables, peas, and tomato bits in these instant soup recipes; they're the easiest way I could find to add a variety of veggies & nutrients to the 8 different instant meals.

Freeze-dried veggies (Mother Earth brand) are available on Amazon and come in lots of varieties. Freeze-dried herbs (Lite house brand) rehydrate instantly and have great flavor.

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Their spring onions (scallions) and chives were used in my instant soup recipes. However, chicken or beef can be added to any of the soup recipes if you want to make it heartier and boost the protein.

The chicken is surprisingly good once it's rehydrated with boiling water, and it has all the nutrition of fresh meat. IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT SHELF LIFE OF FREEZE DRIED MEAT: These sealed cans of freeze-dried meat are supposed to last for many years (the can packaging says 25 years); however they only last that long if they're left unopened.

To extend its storage life, you can store any leftover freeze-dried meat in the freezer for future use. If you have a Food saver, vacuum sealing will extend the freezer shelf life for up to 1 year.

I divide the unused freeze-dried chicken into 1-2 cup portions before vacuum sealing it for future use. These are an optional addition to the Potato Instant Soup, but they add yummy flavor if you're a bacon lover.

If you add these to the bag of instant soup mix, it should be eaten within a week. These can be stirred into any of the instant soups after they are cooked to add flavor or spice.

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Ziploc plastic bags work well for backpacking and light portability. If using plastic bags, it's easier to label them before adding the dry soup mix.

I used freezer (not storage) Ziploc bags, because they are a thicker plastic and less likely to get holes. If you'll be transferring the soup mix to a bowl, mug, or pot before adding the boiling water, a pint size Ziploc is big enough.

Label each bag with the type of soup, how much boiling water to add, and how long to let the meal soak before eating. I have 2 Baggy Racks that hold my bags open as I fill them.

Oxygen Absorbers will extend the shelf life of your soup mixes. I add them to King-Man's soup mix bags just to be sure that his food will stay fresh and safe on the trail.

Give it a stir, seal the bag, and let it rest for 9 or 10 minutes. Pictured below is one we found that is an insulated nesting bowl, mug and lid.

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It was cold where he was hiking, so those features help keep the soup warm while the ingredients soaked in the hot water. These are not for the trail, but are good options if you are making these instant soups at the office or in a dorm or hotel room.

Or, boil the water separately and pour it into the mug with the instant ingredients; stir and let rest for 9 or 10 minutes. The weight and calories of each recipe are included, since backpackers like to know that kind of thing.

Creamy Potato, Chive, Bacon Instant Soup Mix Ingredients: instant potato flakes, corn starch, freeze-dried chives, dried grated Parmesan cheese, instant dried buttermilk powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chicken base powder, real bacon bits (optional), salt, pepper Weight of full recipe in bag: 3-5/8 oz.

Feel free to make substitutions to the ingredients in all 8 of these instant soups. Swap out any of the veggies or seasonings for others that you prefer, add meat, make them vegetarian or gluten-free.

Just add boiling water for 8 instant, nutritious soups that are perfect for backpacking, camping, dorms, office, travel, and emergencies.

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