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Trail Eats – Winter Soups: New Recipes From My Wa Trails Column

The latest recipes from our column, “Trail Eats” In Washington Trails Magazine (the January/February 2012 issue).

The theme was warm and nourishing soups, perfect for cold weather hiking/backpacking/snowshoeing trips.

Clam and Bacon Chowder

In a sandwich bag:
1 cup instant plain mashed potatoes
¼ cup shelf stable bacon
4 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon
1 tsp dill weed
¼ tsp granulated garlic
¼ tsp black pepper

In a second bag:
¼ cup dry milk
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Also take:
1 Tbsp or 1 packet olive oil
6.5 ounce can minced clams
¼ cup shelf stable Parmesan cheese with 1 tsp dried chives mixed in

Add 1 cup cold water to the milk bag, seal tightly and shake up till dissolved.
Add 3 cups water, oil and contents of potato bag to your pot. Bring to a boil and stir the milk mixture into the soup. Bring back to a gentle bubble and let thicken.
Turn to a low flame and add in the clams with broth and cheese, let heat through but don’t boil.

Impress your eating partner tips: Sprinkle the top of the soup with additional bacon and dill weed, pick up 2 sourdough “bread bowls” at the bakery on the way out of town. Carve and serve the soup in them.

Serves 2

Notes: Oysters (smoked or not) can be used instead. Find lightweight tins in the canned fish aisle. Find olive oil packets at

Chicken Stew & Dumplings

In a sandwich bag:
1 cup biscuit mix
1 Tbsp dry milk
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp dried parsley

Mark on bag “Add 1/3 cup water”.

In a sandwich bag:
3/4 cup freeze-dried vegetable mix
1 Tbsp diced dried onion flakes
1 Tbsp diced instant hash-browns

In a small bag:
4 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp diced dried garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste

Also take:
7 ounce pouch of chicken

Cover the vegetables with cold water and let soak for 5 minutes in a 2 Liter pot (or bigger).
Add 4 cups water, both the broth and vegetable bags and the chicken with any broth to your pot. Bring to a boil, taste the broth and salt to taste. Lower the heat a bit on your stove and keep simmering at a low boil. Meanwhile mix up the biscuit mix in its bag. Add the water, push out any air, seal the bag and knead till mixed. Snip a corner on the bag and start squeezing out dumplings. Let them simmer on the soup, with lid on for 5 minutes or till the dumplings are steamed and done (poke a spoon in one to check for being doughy), lowering the flame as needed to prevent boil-overs.

Serves 2 large bowls or 3 small bowls.

Notes: Instant hash browns are sold with the instant mashed potatoes and Costco. Look for Just Veggies brand dried veggies at Whole Foods, REI and other stores. Dried onions find in the spice aisle and Costco.

Slide Mt. Bean Chowder

In a quart freezer bag:
1/2 cup instant rice
1/3 cup instant black refried beans
1/4 cup freeze-dried corn
1 Tbsp shelf stable Parmesan cheese
1 tsp diced dried bell peppers
2 Tbsp dried salsa

Freezer Bag method (FBC): Add 2 cups near boiling water. Stir well, seal tightly and put in a cozy for 15 minutes. Stir again well.

Mug method: Add 2 cups boiling water to the dry ingredients in a large mug. Stir well, cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes.

One pot method: Bring 2 cups water to a boil in your pot. Add in the dry ingredients; stir well and let sit for 15 minutes tightly covered, in cold weather wrap your pot in a pot cozy to retain heat.

Serves 1 as a meal, 2 as a side cup of soup

Notes: Instant black refried beans are sold in natural food sections of grocery stores, look for bulk or Fantastic Foods brand or use black bean dry soup mix. Freeze-dried corn is sold at many natural food stores and REI, look for Just Veggies brand. Find dried bell peppers in bulk sections of natural food stores. On cold weather trips carry fresh salsa in a tightly sealed snack bag instead of drying it. Salsa is easily dried at home, for more info check our dehydrating pages out. To add more calories in winter add a stick of Pepper-jack cheese diced up (find with the string cheese) at the end.

Want more recipes for hiking? Check out my other website, Trailcooking!

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