With winter weather soon upon us, and let’s face it, uncertain economic times ahead, I’ve been thinking a lot about shelf stable meals I can have stashed away for those times when I might not be able to get to the store for a while.
In my search for ideas, I’ve found myself reading memoirs from famine survivors, stories from the Great Depression, and recollections from Frontier life.
In all of my reading I’ve found one thing in common. Everyone who lived through lean times remembers being sustained by a simple soup, and some bread if they were lucky.
It may be a humble meal, but soup can also be incredibly nourishing. And there are so many variations and ways to mix it up, it’s possible to have soup every day and not get tired of it.
Not to mention that soup is probably one of the least expensive meals you can put together without losing out on nutritional value.
So that is my plan. To store the ingredients I would need to throw together a variety of soups. Quick. Easy. Inexpensive. And nourishing.
Why I Prefer Freeze Dried Foods
Freeze dried foods are super easy to use. Just toss them in some water to rehydrate, and cook as usual.
With soups they’re especially easy- just get your broth hot, stir in all of your ingredients, and boil for a few minutes before serving.
It’s a no-brainer for me, really.
11 Delicious Freeze-dried Soup Recipes
As I gather my ingredients, I do so with recipes in mind. Here are a few of our favorite soups and a few I’ve found elsewhere, which I plan on making with my freeze dried foods.
I’d recommend that you print them off and put them somewhere to refer back to when you’re ready to throw a good soup together.
Vegetable Beef Soup – This is one of our family favorites. I love it because you really can add whatever veggies you have on hand (fresh or dried) and it turns out great every time. Also, with beef flavoring added you could skip the meat and still have a flavorful, hearty meal.
Creamy Potato Soup – This delicious soup can also easily be made using all shelf-stable foods.
Chicken & Dumplings – Another tasty and filling soup your family is sure to devour.
Southern Style Chicken Stew – My kids beg for this. It’s good to make dishes your children are familiar with during emergency situations.
Tomato Florentine Rice Soup – Rice is cheap and filling, and the addition of spinach to this soup really kicks it up a nutritional notch.
Chicken & Rice Soup – A great alternative to chicken noodle soup.
Potato Rice Soup – A Depression era recipe using inexpensive staples.
Lentil Soup – I love that you can just throw all of these ingredients together in a Dutch oven, and cook.
Beef Barley Soup – A nourishing comfort food.
Bean, Beef & Tomato Soup – Ground beef, veggies, pasta and spices might make a yummy meal.
Easy Black Bean Soup – A meatless meal packed with essential protein.
Something that you may notice is that many of these recipes include grains. Grains are a great way to bulk up your soup inexpensively, and will keep bellies full longer. And beans are nice because they’re a complete source of protein, and are much cheaper than meat.
The Shopping List
There are so many different ways you can use the following ingredients to throw together a meal. Here’s a list of what you’d need to have on hand to make all of the above recipes. If you home-can, you can always use canned goods and just rotate them out every couple of years.
I like freeze dried foods ’cause I can pretty much forget about them until I need them (many freeze-dried foods have 30 years of shelf life).
You might choose to substitute real meat with Thrive TVP (textured vegetable protein, a soy-based product), which tastes like meat but is much cheaper. I do generally try to avoid soy, but the (vegetarian) Ham TVP really adds great flavor to some dishes.
- Beef Bouillon & Chicken Bouillon – Bouillon is such an important staple. Probably the most important when it comes to making soups. Even if you have nothing but bouillon, if you have a garden or if you can wild forage, a beef or chicken flavored stock will really add savor and essential vitamins to whatever you can throw together for a soup. Thrive Bouillons have no MSG, are Certified Gluten Free, and are Vegetarian. And they’re delicious. One #10 can (the size of a gallon of paint) contains 575 servings.
- Ground Beef or Beef TVP
- Beef Dices
- Chopped Chicken or Chicken TVP
- Ham Dices or Ham TVP
- Sweet Corn- again, non-GMO!
- Green Beans
- Carrot Dices- these are dehydrated, not freeze dried, so the shelf life is 8 years.
- Chopped Onions- can use these with a little garlic powder in place of shallots.
- Potato Chunks
- Split Green Peas- these are dehydrated, with an 8 year shelf life.
- Tomato Dices
- Green Bell Peppers
- Chopped Spinach
- Tomato Powder- use to make tomato juice for soup bases.
- Instant Black Beans- I’d recommend buying the beans in buckets for the best value.
- Kidney Beans
- Small White Navy Beans
- Instant White Rice or Instant Brown Rice (Brown rice tends to go rancid more quickly than white rice, so it has a shelf life of 7 years, as opposed to 30+ years)- Buying the buckets of rice will give you the best value; buying rice in bulk and packaging it yourself in a bucket with mylar bag and oxygen absorbers will be even cheaper.
- Hard White Wheat (Berries) or Organic Hard White Wheat- These are also available in buckets for a better deal.
- Pearled Barley- available in buckets for best price.
- Elbow Macaroni- an 8 year shelf life on Thrive pastas.
- Egg Noodle Pasta
- Whole Grain Penne Pasta
- Rainbow Farfalle Pasta- naturally colored!
- Shredded Cheddar- you’ll be so glad you got it!!
- Instant Milk- actually delicious!!
- Butter Powder- 5 yr. shelf life.
- Baking Powder- Aluminum free!
- Brown Sugar- 10 yr. shelf life.
- Freeze Dried Cilantro- tastes just like fresh.
Other Spices and Pantry Essentials
- seasoning salt
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- minced garlic
- crushed red pepper flakes
- onion soup mix
- cider vinegar and wine vinegar (buy buy the gallon)
- bottled lemon juice
- bottle of grated parmesan
- olive oil
You probably already have most of these spices and baking essentials on hand. Just make sure you keep enough for emergencies.
Remember, spices have a very long shelf life as long as they are kept in somewhat cool, dry conditions. Rotate out perishables to keep your stock fresh. And always buy in bulk when possible for the best price.
Budgeting It All Out
We live on a very tight budget, so we just pick up a little at a time as we’re able. Being a Thrive Life Consultant, I earn free products and half-off products every month, so that definitely helps!
Some people sign up to be a consultant for the discount alone, with no interest in selling anything. If you’re interested in setting aside some emergency foods, it might be worth it to sign up yourself.
Whatever you do, please consider the wisdom in having some shelf stable foods set aside for emergencies.
Whether a storm hits your area, a job is lost, or it is unsafe to leave your home for whatever reason, having food on hand will ensure that you and your loved ones don’t suffer through the ordeal.
What dried soup recipes do you plan on making in an emergency?
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.
16 thoughts on “11 Freeze-Dried Soup Recipes for Emergencies, Hard Times, and Camping”
I’m glad to find your site and am interested in more info about the thrive foods. Please let me know when they are having any big sales! I buy bulk at a local health store for some of my grains but the milk and cheese and berries would be a great addition. You and your family are in my prayers I have two boys myself ages 13 and 8 and I know it can be overwhelming looking at our government and all the sign’s of the times knowing that it is only a matter of time unless the people all cry out and repent but sadly most are decieved . It sounds like you are doing well though and encouraging others to do more:) If you’ve never heard of Henry Gruver I would encourage you to check him out on utube or his website joyful sound ministries his testimony is awesome.! He is a prayer walker, he’s been walking all around the globe with God for 30 + years I believe. He speaks plainly from Gods word and is very encourageing. I could listen to him all day because I believe God is really using him in a big way and you know a disciple of God by their love!! I would love to hear more about Suzanne and her family. Are they still in Costa Rica? I’ve been praying for them also. Take care. Thanks Stephaney
Hi Stephaney! So nice to hear from you. I’ll be happy to add you to my Thrive newsletter to alert you to the monthly sales. Also, next month’s Black Friday Sale is the BIGGEST sale of the year, so you won’t wanna miss it!! Thank you so much for thinking of my family and for saying a prayer for us. What a blessing. I’ll definitely check out Henry Gruver, he sounds like an awesome man. As for Suzanne, I believe they’ve moved back to the States… though I’m not sure exactly what the situation is! I’m afraid I’ve kinda lost touch over the months.
Blessings to you my friend!
I followed the link to the non-GMO chart in the previous comment and I gotta say I’m still a bit confused. The key at the bottom says that the + means they are still testing that product to ensure thats its GMO free, but it doesn’t say what the dot means. SO if there’s a dot(which there is on most things) does that mean it’s already been through the testing process and is non-GMO or that it hasnt yet begun the testing process?
Either way according the chart anythign with a + isn’t “yet” proven to be non-GMO
Everything on the list with a dot beside of it has been tested and certified 🙂
Thanks for this post. Love it! Haven’t done much with bouillon but thanks to these great recipes and some of my own, I will now!
I did add beef and chicken bouillon to my Q shipment and look forward to using them along the freeze dried ground beef!
Thanks so very much for the information; the company definitely needs to put that information up on the site.
Do you know if Thrive will be having Black Friday sales again this year as they have in the past? I know I’m a bit early on that – just trying to think ahead. 🙂
YES!! We’ll definitely have another blowout Black Friday sale like last year. If you’d like to be on my mailing list I can give you a heads up when it’ll start and what the best deals will be 🙂 Just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Yay!! I’m so excited about it!!
I just clicked on the link above for the non-GMO sweet corn…the site is not mentioning it is non-GMO. Can you lead me to where on their site it says it is non-GMO?
Hi Nora, great question!! I’m glad you asked, I’ll add this information to my post for others to see as well. Here is the link to all of the Thrive ingredients information:
I’ve been trying to tell upper management that they really do need to tout their non-GMO status on their website. That’s important information, lol!! Maybe soon they’ll update their product details. For now, please refer to the document I linked you to. It’s all there 🙂
I’ve been known to take a humble can of chicken noodle soup, or can of broth and doctor it up into something satisfying. I add a bit more chicken if I have it, fresh chopped parsley, and some other vegetable (preferably snow peas from the garden, or a carrot and celery).
I’ve read survival accounts where all they had was the peelings from vegetables. I think it’s important that whatever you serve, it have something fresh added. I think there is some vitality in that fresh food that you just don’t get from stored food. It bumps it up a notch. Oh…. and I usually add a few hot red pepper flakes. A little heat can make the soup just right…. at least for us.
I absolutely agree about adding fresh ingredients, SJ. And there are so many things you can find just growing as weeds in your backyard which are edible and super good for you, if it came down to that. 🙂
I want to buy some freeze dried foods, but we have a lot of food allergies. My son is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat and corn. I am allergic to tropical fruit, celery, eggplant, peppers-yes all of them, strawberries and I am a celiac. I have a hard time buying food that has been processed in any way. Could you possibly point me to some freeze dried food we can eat? I would appreciate it. Thank you, I liked your article about soups and it might be nice to have some.
Some Thrive foods have been processed in a facility that handles eggs, wheat, and tree nut products. The foods themselves have only had the water taken out of them, so if there are any Thrive foods that you aren’t allergic to you should be fine eating them. Whatever fresh items you typically buy at the grocery store can be substituted with freeze dried Thrive foods. 🙂
I love this post. I am looking forward to dehydrating a lot of these items and making dry soup jars so I can add soup bases and water. Thanks so much!
Great idea, Jennie! Dehydrated goods will at least last a couple of years! Please do share if you come across any other yummy sounding soup recipes that are storage friendly.