Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gluten-free Vegan Soup Mixes for Backpacking

One of the easy mainstays of backpacking is instant soups.  They are quick to prepare, require only boiling water, and you can find them in most grocery stores.  But when you are a gluten-free vegan, you choices are limited.  I looked through the grocery store before my last trip and found a couple things that would work, but when I read the label further, I found that they likely contained MSG in the form of spices, or natural flavors.  So I set out to make the family some homemade soups.

The basic idea is that you make a soup that you like to eat at home, and dehydrate it.

Below you will find directions for three easy homemade soups for backpacking that are gluten-free, vegan, and MSG free.

Split Pea Soup
The easiest soup to make, dehydrate, and rehydrate is split pea soup.  Cook up a pot of your favorite flavor of split pea soup.  Make sure it is flavored well.  Then spread it thinly on your dehydrator sheets, like you would fruit leather.  It will separate and crumble as it dries, and by the time it is done, it will be more powdery then not.  At this stage, powder it further in a food processor if you wish, and then put it in ziplock bags, either in one person portions, or in a larger bag for a family.

In camp, boil some water.  Put your soup powder in your cup, and pour boiling water over the top.  It is ready to eat in just a few minutes of soaking.

Thai Curry or Other Soups

These soups usually aren't instant, but it doesn't take long to cook them up in a pot of boiling water. I have a great recipe for Butternut Squash Curry on my blog if you need one.  When you cut up the vegetables for your curry, cut the pieces small.  Potatoes work best if they are cut in thin slices.  Make the curry like normal.  Once cooked soft, spread it on dehydrator trays.  Dehydrate until completely dry.  Put it in the food processor to make the pieces even smaller.  Guess at the amount you will need per meal and seal in a ziplock bag.

In camp, guess at how much water you will need.  Mix in your dehydrated curry mix.  Bring the water to a boil, stirring as needed.  Simmer until the soup is soft enough to eat.  Enjoy gourmet food in the wilderness.

Black Bean Soup

In the bulk section of our grocery store, there are dehdrated pinto bean flakes, and black bean flakes.  These are great for backpackers who eat simply.

Buy some black bean flakes
- dehydrated veggies (I used dehydrated broccoli, peas and carrots, ground up sun dried tomatoes are nice too) (pictured at the top of the page; directions on this page)
- dehydrated onion
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- cumin
- salt

Make a sample of the soup at home to check your seasoning levels.  Boil some water.  Put a little of your soup mix in a bowl, pour on some water, stir, wait until soft and then eat a spoonful.  Add more of what ever flavor it is missing.  If you like spicy food, make it spicy.  If your seasoning is too strong, add more black beans.  Once you have it good.  Divide it into servings and put in little ziplocks.

In camp, put your mix in a cup, add boiling water, stir, and eat when soft.  It won't take long.


  1. So stoked to have found your ideas thanks for sharing them. I will be trying them soon

  2. Thanks for stopping by by blog. This is a really cool idea that I would like to try sometime.


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