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Being the mother of 5 I am always on the lookout for quick new ways to serve warm meals to my family. I am also a preparedness junkie and when the book “Soup In A Bag” was offered to me to sample, I was ecstatic! This book is not just for preparedness minded folks, it is a concept that will save so many families time and money in the kitchen. In a day and age where fast food is mainstream this book will help those who want good, hearty, and healthy fast food for their families.
While looking through the book I noticed right away were the colored photos. I learn so much more when I have a photo to compare to. The section on dehydrating was especially loaded with pictures that I knew exactly how my results should look. The instructions for each recipe were in a simple step-by-step form and were easy to follow. And the ingredients listed were common pantry items that I had already stored, so making these recipes required little to no extra shopping for me. After choosing the recipes that I wanted to make I found it so easy to tailor each recipe to my family’s tastes. I swapped out ham for bacon tvp in the Potato Cheese soup mix and I also used tvp in place of real meat to meat the needs of a vegetarian in the family.The section that really impressed me was the dehydrating section at the front of the book. Even though the author recommended purchasing a separate book on dehydrating, I found the instructions and images provided enough details for even a beginner to follow. I referred to this section quite a bit when I was dehydrating my ingredients. For me personally, I felt that some of the dehydrating wasn’t necessary if I were to store the mixes for use as a dinner in my home. Dehydrating canned goods, such as rice and tomatoes, are a great way to have a complete meal when camping, traveling, or in 72-hour kits, but for making a quick meal at home I will store the mix without the dehydrated rice and tomatoes. Opening a can and adding it to the soup while it’s cooking will save me the step of dehydrating them.
Potato Cheese Soup
In Mylar bag:
1 oxygen absorber packet
1 1/2 cup dried potato chunks and/or slices
2 TBS dried onion
In baggie #1 inside Mylar bag:
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
6 cups water (2 boiling)
In baggie #2 inside Mylar bag:
1 1/2 cup potato flakes
1/4 cup ham TVP, ground fine
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground pepper
2 TBS butter powder
1/2 cup + 1 TBS dehydrated cheese powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Open Mylar bag. Discard oxygen absorber packet. Pour potatoes and onions from Mylar bag into a medium sized bowl. Add 2 cups boiling water. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to allow water to be completely absorbed, stirring mid-way if necessary. Pour nonfat dry milk from baggie #1 into a bowl. Using a whisk, combine with 1 cup water until smooth. Set aside.
Open baggie #2. Pour dry seasoning mixture into a cooking pot. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid the cheese sticking to the bottom of the pot. Turn off the heat and add in the rehydrated potatoes/onions, stirring to combine. Cover. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until potatoes are tender.
Add dry milk mixture. Bring soup to a low boil, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and check seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary. Serve hot.
Broccoli Cheddar Cream Soup pg. 113 (rated #2 in my family)
This was the only soup that I didn’t make up in a jar before cooking. I needed a quick soup as a side dish for dinner one night and I had all the ingredients to make it and it ended up on the table that night. This soup was very simple to make and took very little prep work. I pureed the soup for a creamier finish and we all thought it was a keeper. I used freeze-dried broccoli and it didn’t need to reconstitute as long as the dehydrated broccoli, so this soup came together quite quick. This is a recipe where the cheese powder will make or break the end results. I used Honeyville Grain’s cheese powder and we were very pleased with the soup.
This is the very first soup in the book and is was also the first recipe I wanted to try. Don’t let the rating of 4th place sway you from cooking this soup. I really enjoyed it, but I feel it was too sophisticated for my 5 children. They ate it but it didn’t fill them up as a dinner soup. This would be a great soup for lunch or a light dinner. The flavors were interesting in a good way and it was exciting to me that I could have such a fun soup in my food storage.