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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just Add Water: Vegetable Beef Soup

**UPDATE:  Statistics added at end of post.**

I recently purchased a 6-can package of freeze dried and dehydrated vegetables from USA Emergency Supply:  Corn, peas, carrots, celery, potatoes and onions.  Like most folks, I've used dried potato flakes and dried onion flakes for a good long time, but I'd never tried the other items.

All of these are made by Honeyville Farms, which has been a very consistent product for me in the past.  I think the only food I've purchased from them in the past that I didn't like was their powdered butter.  OMG, it was horrible!

The onions, carrots and celery were dehydrated, and the corn and peas were freeze dried.  I don't know how they processed the potatoes.

I decided to try a Just Add Water (JAW) soup with the corn, peas, carrots and celery.  When I opened the cans, I tasted each of them in their dry state.  The freeze dried peas and corn were fantastic as-is.  If they weren't so expensive, they'd make a great snack.  The carrots were also very good while dry, but the celery was horrible.  Chewy and quite salty tasting.

I also decided to add some deydrated beef.  I got this from a while back.  I've used this in the past and have always had great success with it.  It is very tasty stuff.

Here's what they look like right out of the can (clockwise - peas, celery, beef, corn, carrots) -

I made up the following recipe (enough for two bowls) -

4C boiling water
4tsp beef bullion soup stock
1/4 C freeze dried peas
1/4 C dehydrated carrots
1/4 C freeze dried corn
1/4 C dehydrated celery
1/4 C freeze dried beef

After the water came to a boil, I just dumped everything into the pot and covered it for 5 minutes with the heat off.  The beef and all of the veggies except for the celery were fully cooked and tender.  It took another 5 minutes or so before the celery lost most of its chewy texture.


Commenter Marine83 had asked for the calorie stats on the meal.  I usually add this info, but had forgotten - thanks Marine83 for the reminder!

These numbers are for the 4-cup recipe listed above.
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For the JAW packs I make up, I'm going to exclude the celery.  I think this stuff needs to be long, slow simmered before it really loses its chewy texture.  I think it would be good in a chowder or other soup that you had plenty of fuel and time.  Part of the idea for the JAW recipes is quick, easy and low fuel consumption.

I'll be making these in two sizes:  Single serving (half the size of the above recipe) to be included in my GHB, since its contents are generally geared towards single-serving portions.

The other size will be a doubling of the recipe for family-sized meals.  This would be fantastic for a camping or backpacking trip.  Very light and very nutritious.

This is one of the doubled-up packages.  It only weighs 6 ounces!

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Marine 83 said...

Great post. Any idea on the calorie count for the above?

kdonat said...

You might try using the celery in powdered form. Whiz it in a blender or food processor and add to your JAW packets that way. You can do the same with dried tomatos or use purchased tomato powder.

Chief Instructor said...

Marine, I'll add that information to the post in a little bit. Thanks.

kdonat, the celery was kind of gross. It was still a bit pliable - almost like that fruit roll stuff. I don't know if it would go into a powdered state.

My last JAW post was on tomato powder. I was pretty impressed with the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Instant rice could also be added for bulk if so desired.


Chief Instructor said...

Cat, instant rice is great for JAW recipes. It cooks up, well, instantly and as you noted, give the recipes a lot more volume. Give this one a try -

In looking at the recipe, I think I might try it with some of the powdered tomato I've recently purchased. Ahhh, the variety!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry. I realized after I added the comment that it was all about the veggies you had never tried before, not the tried and true. I am very new to this storage cooking and get way too excited about this! Thanks for the past recipe also. I am checking out any books or references to quality foods(edible stuff!) and this site is very helpful. Thanks


Chief Instructor said...

Cat, no worries, nothing to be sorry about. Your comment got me thinking about doing some more homemade dehydrated beans, then doing a rice and beans JAW recipe.

Keep those comments coming!