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Soup Is Good (Camping) Food!

January 15, 2012 by · 8 Comments 


I’ve written before about  meals to make for your family while camping. I want to add a segment today about hot meals that are easy and quick to make: soups.

Favorite SoupsTo be honest, I have made these soups more when we’ve been at home than when we’ve been staying in our camper. This is mostly because we hadn’t discovered them until last fall, after our camping was finished for the year. But knowing what I know now, I am planning to buy some for the camper and to incorporate them in many of our camping adventures.


Gumbo Ingredients

I am speaking of the commercially made soup mixes carried in every grocery store. The brand we started buying, chiefly because they were on sale at the time we found them, is the Bear Creek brand. However, I know there are several different brands on the shelves of the grocery store, even in our city of 33,000 people.

The variety is endless. They have Creamy Wild Rice, Cheddar Potato, Chili, Cheddar Broccoli among others. A favorite of our family members is Gumbo. I shared in a previous post my recipe for Shrimp Jambalaya. It has always been a favorite of our son, Ryan; the one meal he would always eat and had to have whenever he was home. We served him Gumbo over Thanksgiving break and he has requested it twice over Christmas break.

Cheddar Potato Soup

Cheddar Potato Ingredients

Given that he is largely of Irish descent, my husband is especially fond of the Cheddar Potato Soup. Actually, he is partial to ANY potato meal, especially soup. This one just is quicker and easier to prepare than most. And, when you’re camping, who wants to spend the whole day making a satisfying meal.

This soup, when prepared, is hearty, thick, hot and filling. When served with crusty bread it is an entire meal. The best part is that every soup can be made, start to finish, in a mere 10-20 minutes!

One recent Friday, I made the Cheddar Potato soup for lunch. Each package includes the basic instructions for the soup, but also includes ideas for enhancing the meal, which I typically use. Suggestions for the Gumbo include adding New Orleans Andouille Sausage (which we ALWAYS do!) and chicken breast, which we have not done.

To every soup, I add sautéed onion. The directions suggest that you begin by bringing 6-8 cups of water (depending on the mix) to a rolling boil. Before adding the water, I sauté the onion and any meat I will be including in the soup. For Cheddar Potato, a suggested addition is 1 cup of crumbled bacon. I sauté the bacon with the onion and also, due to my husband and son’s love of them, add 4-5 potatoes which cook with the onion and bacon. I just use whatever potatoes I have on hand. Most recently I used medium sized red potatoes because that’s what I had at the house.

Wild Rice Options

Options for additions to Wild Rice Soup

Two other suggestions on the back of the package are ½ cup of sour cream and one cup of shredded cheddar cheese. I added these the first time I made the soup, but found they made the soup too thick. I did add the potatoes because I knew that’s what my family would most enjoy.

To make the soup, sauté the onion and bacon until the onion is cooked and bacon crisp; THEN add 8 cups water and bring it to a rolling boil. Once it is boiling, whisk in the soup mix, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. It is a hearty potato soup that will become a filling meal and save you more time for enjoying the great outdoors and whatever you enjoy doing while camping. It makes about 8 one-cup servings; plan on serving fewer than 8 if this is your entire meal. Add crusty bread to complete the experience.

Potato Soup

Finished pot of potato soup: perfect for a cold winter's day or cool camping night!

Enjoy the various varieties of Bear Creek soups and many other varieties. They provide your family with a hot, hearty meal and save you a great deal of time for enjoying your camping experience! Bon appétit!

For more information about what to feed a hungry camping family, read more camping articles on Woodall’s Camping and RV site.


8 Responses to “Soup Is Good (Camping) Food!”
  1. frank m. says:

    Camping can be fun, and it can’t be a chore. Trying to keep meats cold if all you have is an ice chest and nowhere around to replenish the ice. Plus dealing with a bunch of soggy bread and meats got to be too much.

    I gave up and did some research and found some long term food storage companies that don’t add chemicals and the food is good for 25 years.

    I liked it so much we started buying and selling it on a regular basis, for disaster preparedness and easier camping.

  2. Diane Berry says:

    Great idea Frank, thanks for sharing it!

  3. MrOAK says:

    I tried the Gumbo soup mix the other day. I added the Andouille Sausage and some pre-cooked frozen shrimp. I also wanted to add chicken but we did not have any so when we were at the supermarket we got a cooked roast chicken. For an extra $2 the chicken came with rolls and our choice of two sides. That provided dinner that night and left me with chicken leftovers to put in the Gumbo. When I made the Gumbo I fried onions, peppers, and garlic with the sausage and heated the chicken and shrimp. These were all added to the gumbo to add heft. Instead of water I used chicken stock in the soup.
    I cooked white rice to serve with the Gumbo and server them separate so that we could add the rice to the soup or not as each persons wanted.
    The result came out great except the Gumbo was very salty. I stopped adding a little salt to the rice when I cooked it. I talked to a restaurant chef a few days later and he said the salt may have come from the frozen shrimp. So the next time I will try defrosting the shrimp in water and changing the water a couple of times to try and wash some of the salt out.
    I consider the gumbo a success although you end up with a lot left over since there are just two of us and my wife doesn’t eat seafood which includes shrimp.
    We will try the other types after I make the second batch of Gumbo to use up the sausage and shrimp left over.

  4. Diane Berry says:

    Great ideas, Jim! Thanks for your input. Yes, it does make a large pot. We end up with alot as well, but when we are at home during the workweek, we are always looking for something quick for lunch so this fits the bill for several days. When camping, we usually have hungry children with us, so it works out for us. Thanks again!

  5. Susan K. says:

    We have just started using the Bear Creek soups, and enjoy them very much. They are fast, simple, delicious, and I am glad that they make enough for the two of us to have two meals. (I always think they taste even better the second time around.) From the standpoint of my little RV kitchen, I also love that they are light, easily packed into a cupboard, and don’t become little bombs if the cupboard pops open in transit!

  6. Diane Berry says:

    Glad you enjoy the also, Susan. Really enjoyed your comment about “little bombs” I think we have all experienced those! Thanks for writing! Making the wild rice soup as I write this!

  7. Janet says:

    My husband loves the packaged soups. A word of caution though as we have found that some brands are high in sodium. He has high blood pressure so we now read the labels a little closer before purchase.
    Bon Appetit!

  8. Diane Berry says:

    Good advice. Thanks Janet!

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