After a few years of Knorr powdered soup, ramen and pasta sides I was looking for a way to jazz up my hiking food pantry. So I bought a cheap dehydrator without a fan and it worked alright for some things, for others not so much 😉 But I was definitely sold on the concept so I eventually invested in a proper dehydrator. And I have made a ton of different hiking foods with this thing.
For an upcoming hike with some friends I needed a good solid filling tomato soup to serve with pasta. Carbs and protein, that’s what it’s all about folks. If you want you can bring along a little olive oil and fatten up the soup a bit. Great for extra calories on longer hiking trips, maybe not necessary for the weekend trip that I’m going on. We will be bringing along some parmesan though 🙂
Important note on dehydrating and fats. At all cost avoid adding oil or other fats to any and all food that you want to dehydrate. They don’t dehydrate well and they spoil much more easily and faster than non fatty foods. Always add oil to your foods on trail, instead of before dehydrating.
- 4-6 onions. Depending on size.
- 4-6 cloves of garlic.
- 2 cans of tomato pure
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 2 dl of red lentils
- 1 cube of vegetable bouillon
- oregano, basil, pepper and paprika to taste.
Chop the onions finely and sauté them in a large pot in a splash of water, remember we’re avoiding oil. When the onions have turned transparent, add finely chopped garlic and all of the spices.
Once you’ve sweated the spices and garlic a bit, add the tomato pure. Mix well and sauté a bit before adding the chopped tomatoes and lentils.
I also added a fair amount of water for the lentils to soak up. Just be mindful that any water you add will end up prolonging the drying time. So never add anymore than what is absolutely necessary for the dish to cook properly. The thicker your soup is now, the quicker it’ll dry later 🙂
I had forgotten to add pepper along with the other spices. The fresh basil stems are not necessary I just had them and thought why not…
My better half and I had two portions for dinner – yum! And I blended the rest until smooth and spread it evenly onto the dehydrator trays. I then cranked up the dehydrator to max and then all there is left to do is wait.
There is definitely a limit to how thick a layer of soup you can have on each tray. Especially when you’ve got more than one tray in there. With my old dehydrator food would sometimes spoil because the drying time took too long.
Mine is quite powerful and I’ve purposefully set it to max, because I’ve probably put a bit to much on each tray. I also cycled the bottom tray to the top of the stack every 2-3 hours, because at max temp there is quite a temperature difference between the top and bottom.
And then after half a day, with a slight whirring sound in the background, you’ve got dry flakes of soup. Now they won’t actually rehydrate as well as you want. And since nobody likes lumpy soup, I always give it a whizz in an old coffee grinder that I use for grinding up spices. As you can see below I tried using my food processor, didn’t really work, so back to doing a little at a time in the coffee grinder.
End result from more than a litre of soup, a bag of powder weighing 185g(6,5oz).
A great resource for dehydrator recipes and how to is: www.backpackingchef.com