It's camping season! And we're coming up my favourite time of year; early fall. This is the season of chilly mornings and brisk evenings, of morning tent snuggles, and evening fire huddles. I love few things more than getting out of city and into the wild, and I especially love camp fire cooking.
What follows is a recipe for a high-protein, light-weight, easy-to-pack, just-add-water, non-processed, whole-foods, non-perishable, stick-to-your-ribs, no-MSG, quick-to-prepare, (take a breath) delicious red lentil soup. It's also full of slow-burning, energy-sustaining, complex carbohydrates -- perfect fuel for a day of hiking, climbing, swimming, kayaking, and general out-door fun.
As you'll see in the pictures below, this soup was packed for a car camping trip. (Most of us don't stuff cast iron dutch ovens into our back packs.) Not to worry. If you're not car camping, this will work just as well in a lighter-weight camp pot. The recipe calls for regular brown rice, which requires at least a good hour of soaking. If you're back packing and don't have time to soak, you can substitute the rice for par-boiled rice, millet, bulgar wheat, or quinoa, all of which will still provide you with slow burning carbs for the next day's activities, but require shorter cooking times and can go without soaking.
INGREDIENTS - Feeds 4 hungry campers
Throw together in a bag:
2 1/3 cups red lentils
1 cup brown rice
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp dehydrated chives
2 tsp dehydrated garlic
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 2 Tbps dehydrated veggie stock (optional)
1 hot chili pepper - (optional)
Serve your soup with any or all of these
Sun dried tomatoes
Nuts or seeds
Flax Seed Meal
Any fresh veg that you may have on hand -
We served this with zucchini, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- When you get to your site, dump the soup mix into your cooking pot, cover with about an inch of water, put the lid on, and walk away. Go have fun for a few hours. (See head notes for alternatives if you don't have time to soak.)
- When you get back to the site, your soup will have soaked up much of the water. Add additional water if necessary, so that you've got about an inch of water on top, and put over the fire or camp stove.
- Bring to a boil with the lid on. Reduce heat, and let simmer until the lentils are soft and the grain is cooked through - about 20 minutes.
- If you're using cast iron, the residual heat will keep the soup cooking. In that case, get the whole thing good and hot, then take it off of the heat and forget about it for a half an hour or so.
- If you're using lighter weight cookware, bring it to a boil, and keep it on the heat for about 10 minutes. Keep the lid on as much as possible, but stir frequently to avoid burning the bottom. Allow the soup to finish cooking off of the heat by letting it stand, lidded, for about ten minutes.
- Add water as necessary, adjust cooking times as necessary.
- Add garnishes and serve!