There are a lot of reasons why you should know how to make a bushcraft survival soup. A good soup can save leftovers and vegetables from the trash and compost bins, making the most out of what could be very limited supplies during a SHTF situation. Plus, the fact that in a soup base or broth, valuable nutrients are boiled in and not sautéed or broiled out signals a victory for you and your hungry family. Soup is a frugal dish, and the amazing chemistry that happens with water and heat makes survival soup greater than the sum of its parts.
Bushcraft Survival Soup Basics
At the core of every soup or stew is its broth. With a bushcraft survival soup, for our purposes here let’s assume you’ve been successful in a hunt but have already exhausted the meat supply from your quarry’s carcass. What’s then left is the bones. And bones, when cut and boiled to bring out their nutrients (think marrow, here) make a very nutritious and sustaining broth.
As detailed in this Healthline article, bone broth is rich in nutrients, amino acids, and fatty acids, not to mention a slew of minerals, all of which make for a full-feeling belly and a sense of well-being when consumed. I would even go so far as to say that making broth or soup is one of the best things you can do with your time during a SHTF event. It’s the nature of soup to conserve every last calorie and nutrient, and it can be stretched for extra servings by adding more liquid and recooking. It’s easy to digest by most every stomach, even those of the stressed out young and elderly.
Best Prepper Soups
It goes without saying that your bushcraft survival soup will take shape according to the ingredients you have available. What’s commonplace in everyday life may become a rarity, post-collapse. That said, I’ll mention several different varieties of soup below, all of which can be hearty and wholesome:
Broth and Stock – As detailed above, it’s more than just frugal to make your own soups and broths out of carcasses. Broths and stocks made with fresh bones are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Plus, they can be a base for most every other soup. They’re not fancy, but nobody said your dish has to be pretty to make good sustenance.
Vegetable – If you’re growing your own food, you are likely growing a lot of vegetables. And if you can master even one vegetable-based soup, you can often improvise a decent dish with other vegetables if the situation arises. If you have them available, start with leeks and potatoes, and go from there.
Chili – Dry beans, in my mind, also count as vegetables, but when you go heavy on them and they make that tasty bean sauce, there’s something unique about them. With some ground meat added, you get a chili that’s a wholesome meal that very few people would turn down. Bonus for preppers: dry beans are easy to grow, store and even buy. Just be sure you have a bunch of fresh spices on hand for flavor.
Tomato Based – It’s just a fact of gardening: sometimes you end up with too many tomatoes. Fortunately, they make a great base for a tasty soup or stew, naturally boiling down to a sauce-like consistency. Some examples of tomato-based soups are the classic Bisque and chunky Minestrone. Feel free to let your imagination take precedence when filling out the rest of the ingredients.
Heritage – Every cook knows at least one recipe that their grandmother was or is known for. For me this is a Cajun dish, Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo. It involves making a roux, combining the “trinity” of peppers, onions and celery, and having large quantities of Gumbo Filet around. There’s something to be said for comfort food during times of upheaval and tension, if you can swing a family recipe on what you’ve got.
Cream Soup – Whether it’s a chowder or a creamed vegetable soup, the addition of butter and cream can really bring a soup to a whole new level of satisfying, adding in fats and vitamins. Knowing how to add dairy into your soups is a good skill to have no matter what level of preparedness is called for on a given day.
Survival Soup Recipe
I’ve chosen this “Ask a Prepper” bean-and-rice survival soup because during the worst of times, you may be stuck with ingredients like rice and beans that are easily dry-stored over long periods. (In fact they’re some of the best foods to store, as we discuss in another article.) Let’s start with the ingredients:
- 2/3 cup kidney beans
- 2 cup barley
- 1 cup lentils
- 1/4 cup green split peas
- 1/4 cup chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cup rice
- Bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
Add your beans, grains, and legumes (except the rice) to the water with some seasoning and simmer until beans are soft, up to an hour and a half. Then simply add the rice and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes or until done to taste. There you have it. You’ll get the famous bean-and-rice complete protein, plus a whole lot of stick-to-the-ribs hearty goodness.
Having survival soups as building blocks in your repertoire will allow you to enhance and maximize the food quantity and quality that you are able to feed your family, whether it’s during a SHTF event or just a relaxing evening around the kitchen table.
Got some soup thoughts? Give a shout out in the comments below!