One of my favorite things to eat for dinner on a backpacking adventure is dehydrated lentil soup. Filling, nutritious and yummy with the added bonus of not only being cheap but also amazingly lightweight, dehydrated lentil soup is pretty much the perfect backpacking meal. Spiced with cumin, curry, garlic and cayenne, this recipe is especially flavorful and the perfect way to replenish after a long, hard day of hiking. Dehydrated lentil soup is also incredibly easy to make, so whip up a batch before your next hike and have a delicious meal to look forward to while out on the trail. Dehydrating your own food to take backpacking is a simple process and also an economical way to prepare delicious and nutritious trail meals. If you are unsure where to start, you can read an earlier post about the basic process here- Dehydrating Food For Backpacking Trips. One thing to remember, the process of dehydrating and then rehydrating can weaken the flavor of the prepared dish, so don’t be shy with the spice.
For your convenience, here is the free printable version for dehydrated lentil soup. Enjoy!
Preparing the Dehydrated Lentil Soup
At Home –
Ingredients for dehydrated lentil soup:
1 large onion, diced
3 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped (you can use any color you have on hand)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Spice Blend to taste, I used 3/4 Tbs salt, 1.5 Tbs curry powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
How to make Dehydrated Lentil Soup:
1. Saute vegetables in olive oil over low heat until soft.
2. Stir in the dried lentils and the spice blend and allow to incorporate. Then stir in stock and let simmer until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes.
3. Once lentils are soft, blend a portion of your cooked soup in a blender until smooth and then add back to pot.
4. Pour soup onto fruit roll sheets that work with the dehydrator you are using.I use these Fruit Roll Sheets with a Nesco Food Dehydrator. Dehydrate on medium temperature until crumbly and completely dry.
5. Once it has completely cooled, package your dehydrated lentil soup. I like to put it in a mason jar to store at home and then package into freezer bags to take on the trail.
How to prepare the dehydrated lentil soup at camp
Rehydrating the soup is really simple. Simply boil enough water to cover the dehydrated soup mixture and add the soup to the pot. A little at a time, add water until the soup is the consistency you enjoy. This process is really quick, about 4-5 minutes total. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro if you have it, but dried herbs are tasty too. I serve dehydrated lentil soup with crusty bread, hard rolls or pita slices spread with clarified butter. Easy peasy and so delicious!
If you are looking for more backcountry cooking inspiration, the following are a few of my favorite cookbooks for trail meal ideas. While I don’t tend to follow any recipe exactly, each of these books have given me inspiration for delicious backpacking recipes-
Recipes for Adventure: Healthy, Hearty and Homemade Backpacking Recipes– by Glenn McAllister
Fork in the Trail: Mouthwatering Meals and Tempting Treats for the Backcountry– by Laurie Ann March
Trail Food: Drying and Cooking Food for Backpacking and Paddling– by Alan Kesselheim
Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook– by Mary Bell
Lipsmackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’– by Christine and Tim Conners
Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips– by Christine and Tim Conners
You can also check out my Backcountry Cooking Page for more of my favorite trail recipes.