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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Legume Flour Soups

At home, we nuke foods in the microwave - we can't get our "meals" down our gullets quickly enough. In a grid-down situation or while camping, fuel resources may be limited. You want food to be prepared quickly, with as little valuable fuel consumed as possible.

I recently saw some videos about a group that teaches bushcraft and survival skills - Bushcraft On Fire. I sniffed around their site and YouTube page (60+ videos of some decent stuff).

The videos that interested me were about making soups using natural greens and legume/grain flours. I have this near-obsession with finding and developing foods and recipes that only require the addition of water and heat. What I like about these recipes is that by using flours, the cook time is considerably reduced. After your water comes up to a boil, you only need 3 or 4 minutes to have a meal!

First up, it required some legume and grain flours. I broke out my Family Grain Mill and made flour out of dent corn, yellow split peas and lentils.

After I made the flours, I followed two of the recipes to the letter. First, corn chowder -

Corn Chowder

Approx. 3 1/4 c. hot water

1/3 c. rounded fine corn flour or Masa

3 Tbsp. pea flour

1 Tbsp. chicken or vegetable bouillon

Hot sauce or cayenne pepper is awesome in it too!

Whisk flours and bouillon into your hot water and cook, stirring, for 1 minute over medium high heat. Cover and turn heat to low; cook 2-3 minutes. Serve with broken corn chips. Makes 2 hearty bowls full.
The result was an edible, pretty flavor-less, though fairly thick soup. It passed the "standing saltine" test. Still, definitely NOT a chowder.

I added some black pepper and a shot or two of hot sauce, and it was much better. I think this would be very good with some sort of smoked meat - ham or bacon come to mind. Some parboiled corn kernels would work nicely as well.

It's a keeper recipe with some minor adjustments for the JAW recipe files.

Next up was the lentil soup.

Just from looking at the recipe, I could tell it was going to be VERY thin. And it was.

Lentil Soup

4 c. hot water

2 tsp. lentil soup seasoning (See below this recipe)

4 Tbsp. green lentil flour

Have your canteen [your cooking pot] over medium heat (knock fire down to hot coals), whisk lentil flour into boiling water and add soup seasoning (below). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook 2 minutes. Serves 3-4.

Soup seasonings

8-10 Tbsp. salt

2 1/2 Tsp. garlic powder

3 Tbsp. black pepper

7 Tbsp. parsley flakes

5 Tbsp. dried chives

3 Tbsp. onion powder

3 Tbsp. paprika

Combine and store in airtight container (Keep in your kitchen and EDC kit)
As suspected, this was more of a broth than what I think of as a soup. It needed some sort of binder, as the lentils would separate from the liquid after a few minutes. It did not pass the "standing saltine" test -

The flavor was pretty good, though. I made up a batch of her Soup Seasoning, and used it to flavor this stuff.

It needs to be thicker, IMO. I guess if you were sick at home and just wanted some watery nutrition, it would do the trick. If I were out camping or in an emergency situation, I'd want a more substantial soup. As with the corn chowder, smoked meats would go very well with this.

In general, though, it's a keeper. I'm going to play with the recipes a bit, and I'll pass along any insights I come across.

Accept The Challenge

Developing foods and recipes that require little preparation can benefit you in a number of way.  In addition to being able to grab a quick, nutritious meal, you can also prepare them with very little fuel.  This can be crucial in any kind of emergency, or if you are on a camping trip.

Copyright 2009 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Andrea said...

I've been working on ready-to-eat/low-prep meals as well. Sadly, I think it would be a life and death situation before I could get my kids (or beloved) to eat legume powder soup, nutritious or not. It would take a LOT of bacon LOL.

Some of the meals I've worked out are just-add-water mashed potatoes with canned gravy and canned beef...yeah, a lot of sodium, but probably palatable. I don't particularly like serving processed and packaged foods, but I figure they'll come in handy if we lose power.

I've also canned many quarts of soups and stews that only need warmed to be delicious...tomato, turkey and chicken soups, venison stew and meaty broths.

My next major gap in preparedness is heat for cooking. We have a grill, but you can't grill pasta. I'm looking into either a camp stove/turkey fryer or one of the Volcano stoves from Emergency Essentials....Santa Baby, I've been an awful good girl!!!

Chief Instructor said...

Does your family like lentils or split pea soup? That's all this is, but in quick-to-eat form.

I've made all of these with some left-over chopped ham, and they're fantastic. I keep the flours in mason jars.

I also keep some of these in vacuum packs in my Get Home Bag (most of the time) and when I got on some of my longer fishing trips. They weight next to nothing, and give you a good

Andrea said...

It takes bribery and/or pleading to get my kids to eat split peas or lentils, in any's just not their schtick. They'll eat just about anything else, but beans, esp. lentils are a tough sell.

Chief Instructor said...

When I was a kid growing up, a big pot of split pea soup with a big ham hock in the middle was just this side of heaven!

I'm curious - what kinds of preps do you put up for the kids?

Andrea said...

My kids really aren't picky eaters, they just don't like to eat beans...lately they have been eating baked beans, but that's pretty much the extent of it.

As far as preps, they'll eat pretty much any kind of fruit or vegetable, so I've canned peaches, pears, apples and applesauce, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, fruit and veggy juice, etc, plus I have some store bought canned fruits and frozen veggies as well. They'll eat any sort of pasta or soup, so I've put up a lot of both. Plus comfort foods like powdered milk and cocoa, drink mixes, cake mixes, honey, dried fruit, sauces, etc.

I think I have a pretty well-rounded food storage going, I just need to keep adding to the dry goods and convince the kids that lentil soup won't kill them.

Chief Instructor said...

It sounds like you have a great deal of variety with your preps. That's very important. And it's good you're putting away stuff that you folks will ALL eat. It is a horrible mistake to squirrel away a half ton of beans if no one likes them!

It's the old, "store what you eat" gig.