May 16, 2011

Convenience Food: Soup Starter, Part One

Is it soup yet?

If you're my age, you'll remember the Soup Starter commercials with that famous line. Soup Starter came in a cardboard canister, tall and skinny, filled with dehydrated veggies, pasta, and seasonings. You added meat and water and simmered for about an hour, and viola: soup! I'm not sure why it was pulled from grocery shelves, perhaps because it wasn't "instant".

I have two kinds of soup starter in my kitchen: canned and dehydrated. The canned (in jars) soup starter is for quick meals; the dehydrated form is to go in the crockpot and simmer all day long. All you add is water, and meat if desired, either fresh or canned.

In a canning jar I mix dehydrated veggies: onions, carrots, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, celery, or whatever. To make it like that true Soup Starter, I'd also add bouillion, spices, and some pasta, then vacuum seal the jar with my Food Saver. I just add water and perhaps meat when I empty the jar into the crockpot. Usually though I don't add bouillion; instead I add stock instead of water.


Every time I make soup it's different, depending on what I have on hand, so these "recipes" are really just guidelines and suggestions. Use them as a springboard.

Cream of broccoli soup would consist of dehydrated broccoli, powdered milk and/or cream, and chicken bouillion (or add milk and cream when you make the soup instead of using powdered milk). You might start with this recipe.

Potato soup could be made with dehydrated potato dices and mashed potato flakes. You can use any recipe, such as this Baked Potato Soup, and substitute dehydrated potatoes to make a shelf-friendly soup starter. (Bacon isn't something that keeps on a shelf, cooked or not, so this would be something I'd plan to make when I had a few leftover slices of bacon in the refrigerator.)

You can buy bean soup mix at the grocery store, or you can make your own with your favorite varieties of dry beans. Make your own seasoning packets and store in the jar with the beans. There are many recipes for Mixed Bean Soup on the internet you can use for inspiration, such as this one at Taste of Home. Print out the recipe you're using and either tape it to the side of the jar or place the paper inside the jar with the dry ingredients.

Split pea soup is a super-easy mix to make: dried split peas, either green or yellow or both, dehydrated carrots, potatoes, onions and a pinch of marjoram. Add a ham bone when you cook the soup, or make it vegan, without meat.

Then there is the old standby, vegetable soup. That's what most of my soup starter is for: various veggies with broth/bouillion, pasta and spices. Add chicken to the crockpot or not. Add salt and pepper to taste, and some parsley.


You'll find more ideas and recipes using dehydrated foods at dehydrate2store.

Make soup! And make a crusty loaf of bread to go with it.

1 comment:

  1. Those are great ideas friend! I like that! May you be blessed!


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