<p>The air is turning toward the chilly side but that's not going to stop you and your family or friends from camping! You all love being outdoors no matter what the season—you'll just have to bundle up and prepare heartier meals to keep you warm and energized. Serving soups (and stews) is a wonderful way to do just that! But before we delve into some magnificent recipes, we wanted to share some great prep tips:</p>
- If you choose to cook your stew meat or ground beef at home, be sure to cook it thoroughly. Let it cool then pack it in a cooler and keep it chilled until you’re going to cook your soup at your campsite.
- For a quicker cook time, use fine noodles or instant rice.
- Rather than bringing large cans of broth, you can pack lighter with bouillon cubes. Just add 2 cups of water for 1 cube.
- Chop your veggies as small as possible for shorter cook times.
- If you’re camping with a large group of people, ask everyone to chip in with a different veggie for the soup or stew.
Now that you have those wonderful tips, let’s peruse these tasty recipes!
Potato and Sausage Soup (Serves 4)
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 small green pepper
- 1 8 oz. pkg. of Kielbasa sausage
- ½ of an onion
- 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans
- 1 10 oz. can of beef broth (or use bouillon cubes)
- 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- ½ tsp. of sugar
- 1 tsp. of oregano
- 1 tsp. of ground cumin
Chop into small pieces the potatoes, green pepper, sausage and onion then put them all into a 5-quart Dutch oven.
Add the remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven and set it over your campfire or stove.
Let the pot come to a boil then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Enjoy while it’s hot!
Lentil Bacon Soup (Serves 4)
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 3 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 1 tsp. of oregano, dried
- 1 c. of brown lentils, soaked
- 3 tbsp. of tomato paste
- 6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, chopped fine
- 1 bay leaf, dried
- 4 c. of low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ tsp. of ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. of sea salt
Add bacon to a medium-heated Dutch oven on your campfire or stove and, mixing periodically, cook for 7-8 minutes or until it’s crispy.
Using a slotted spoon, move the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off the grease.
Pour the bacon fat out of the pot except for 2 tbsp.; return the pot to the heat.
Mix in garlic, carrot, bay leaf, onion, celery and oregano. Stir sporadically and cook for 14-15 minutes or until veggies are soft.
Add in the tomato paste, broth and lentils and let it boil.
Instantly turn the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are just tender.
Take out the bay leaf; mix in the bacon, pepper and salt. Enjoy hot.
Homestyle Campfire Stew (Serves 8)
- ¼ lb. of fresh, chopped mushrooms
- 2 c. of water
- 1 c. of frozen mixed vegetables
- 8 oz. of orzo pasta
- ½ of a small onion, diced
- 1 lb. of ground beef, crumbled
- 1 10 oz. can of alphabet condensed soup
- 1 c. of tomato sauce
- ⅛ tsp. of black pepper
- ¼ tsp. each of salt and garlic powder
- ½ tsp. each of dried basil and oregano
Put the mushrooms and onions in your Dutch oven; cook until the onions are tender.
Add in the ground beef and cook for 10 minutes or until brown. Drain off the grease.
Now, slowly add in the remaining ingredients and allow it to boil; simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
Campfire Chicken Vegetable Soup (Serves 4)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- ½ of a small onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 pkg. of mixed vegetables, frozen
- 1 15 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
- 1 c. of small pasta shells
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 c. of sliced mushrooms
- 1 c. of tomato sauce
- 5 c. of vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- Seasoning: salt and pepper
Add the cubed chicken to your 5-quart Dutch oven and cook until no longer pink inside, about 10-15 minutes.
Now, the olive oil should be added; then for roughly 10 minutes sauté the celery, onions and carrots. Mix in the mushrooms and sauté for 5 more minutes or until they’re tender.
Pour in the tomato sauce, mixed vegetables, vegetable broth and stewed tomatoes. Let it come to a boil then simmer everything for 15 minutes. Blend in the shells and simmer until the shells are al dente, for about another 10 minutes.
Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder with Bacon (Serves 6)
- 2 tbsp. of butter
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 15 oz. cans of whole kernel corn, drained
- ½-1 c. of water
- 4 thick bacon strips, diced
- 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled then diced
- 1 or 2 15 oz. cans of creamed corn
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Optional dried spices to add: sage, chives and thyme
Place the butter in a Dutch oven and let it melt.
Add in the bacon and cook for 8 minutes or until crisp. Leave the grease in the pot but put the bacon aside.
Sauté the onion in the remaining grease for about 5 minutes or until it’s tender and transparent.
Pour in the water and bring it to a boil; mix in the sweet potatoes, kernel corn, salt and pepper, creamed corn and any spices you want to add (you can either add the bacon now or keep it as a garnish); cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Serve in soup bowls and enjoy.
Spicy Tomato Soup (Serves 4)
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 28 oz. can of chicken stock
- ½-1 c. of your favorite small pasta
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 26 oz. of marinara sauce
- 15 oz. can of cannellini beans
- Crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
Pour the olive oil into your Dutch oven; add the carrots, garlic and onions to the pot and cook until onions are tender.
Carefully mix in the remaining ingredients, excluding the spices.
Simmer until the pasta is cooked, about 25 minutes. Then toss in the red pepper, salt and black pepper. If everyone can handle more spice, throw in some more red pepper. Enjoy!
Basic Beef Chili (Serves 6)
- 1 lb. of lean, ground beef
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 16 oz. can of red kidney beans
- 1 16 oz. can of tomato sauce
- ½ c. of red and green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 c. of onion, diced
- 1 16 oz. can of white beans, drained
- 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 2 c. of beef stock
- 4 tbsp. of jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
- 3 tbsp. of chili powder
- 1 tsp. of cumin powder
- 1 whole bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to season
In your Dutch oven, mix the meat, onions and bell peppers; cook them for 10 minutes or until beef is cooked through. Drain the grease and return the ingredients to the pot.
Blend in the beef stock and beans; let it come to a boil.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, cover and let the chili simmer for 30 minutes or until ready to eat. If you like it spicier, you can always throw in more chili powder, cumin and jalapeño pepper.
You can’t forget the crusty bread and/or crackers which are terrific with soups and stews. Make large batches of each soup/stew for bottomless bowls—or maybe the next day’s meal! Either way, you’re sure to have warm, satisfied and full campers!