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!
One of my favorites is potatoes, onions, cabbage, and bratwurst. I don’t really have a recipe, but I brown diced bratwurst with the onion in a bit of olive oil, add diced potatoes and cabbage and cover with chicken broth and simmer til done.
Here’s on of my favorites for making a tasty fish chowder. : https://www.survivalcommonsense.com/recipe-crappie-chowder-a-tasty-way-to-cook-panfishfeed/
This is a great way to stretch the fish if you only caught a few, or if you need to feed more people who show up unexpectedly.
This recipe won first place is a contest sponsored by Crappie World magazine several years ago.
Sounds damn good. Thanks.
I really enjoy a bowl (or two) of chili, but I’m not a gourmet cook by any stretch of imagination. Half a pound of ground beef added to a can of chili w/ beans, grilled chopped onion, and Tony Cachere Cajun mix and I’m good, especially with some saltines on the side. When we are in a hurry and get a roaster chicken at supermarket, it is often finished off by adding to a can of chicken broth and frozen vegetables. Just really simple to make and on a cold day, hits the spot!
I grew up poor in the 40’s so soup for dinner was a common meal. My mother used a trick that made it more filling and a better meal. She would use whatever bread she had to cut up and put in the soup. As I remember she added the bread a few minutes before serving so it wouldn’t just fall apart. Sometimes all we had was a jar of canned tomatoes and the cut up bread and it was suprisingly good and filling.
These old time meal stretcher ideas are much appreciated, I make a note cause you never know when you’ll need to use them. Keep em’ coming!
use of leftover spaghetti noodles or noodles when you have no sauce.
a few dabs of butter or margerine and enough ketchup to be mixed thru completely. (not wads of ketchup in volume like sketty sauce– just a few squirts)
some grated cheese on top.
My Polish grandmother used to call this “poor man’s spaghetti”.
My kids love it.
Also when that chili is almost gone, add cooked macaroni for more servings.
during the depression it was common to have a hobo stew going 24/7 due to lack of refrigeration and too small of a quantity of items to make a meal. everybody in the community was welcome to grab a cup of soup as long as they tossed something in once in a while….we stock soups with plans to use it as a base, toss in potatoes, rice, beans or whatever is left over from the last meal to give it density.
Soup is a fantastic survival food , because you can put anything you have on hand in it , all you need is a container . Because of this , soups can be used extensively to feed groups of people in hard times .
When my mother was alive she always had a pot of soup in the fridge or on the stove, some times for a couple weeks. we had some company and mom served soup for lunch one day. They all loved it and asked what the meat was to which she replied beef,lamb,rabbit,turkey,pork and what ever else was leftover lately.
I would add Pizoli (sp) to that great list.
Green Chili’s and/or Jalapenos
Any veggie, carrots, green beans, …
A little olive oil, salt
Garlic, lots of garlic
Easy to adjust recipe for all palates and is great with a crusty piece of Sourdough. A dash of liquid smoke as the secret ingredient.
Most of the items should be in your pantry anyway.
Several years ago we were iced in with no electricity for five days. On the first day I put a big pot of “refrigerator” soup (all the leftover vegetables from the fridge and a pound of ground beef) on the gas cooktop. I kept adding water, canned tomatoes, and canned vegetables as the days went by. We had no heat source other than the gas cooktop so we kept warm by layering up and bundling up in our beds with mountains of quilts and blankets but periodically we would eat a bowl of soup which warmed our insides.
One of my greatest confidence builders is my 0° sleeping bag for power outage or out of propane.
sitting in your house watching the cold weather outside while a hot pot of cream of…or tomato soup simmers on top of the wood stove. Life is good!
Thanks for mentioning our family favorite of Shrimp Gumbo. However, think you meant “file'” not “filet” as the spice you add when ready to eat. Sure brings back lots of good memories thinking of my mom’s Gumbo. It was usually an all day affair for all of us to help fix it – shrimp had to be shelled and deveined and we liked lots of shrimp, so that took quick a while. And we learned to dish up our own, other wise we would end up with a bowl with no shrimp in it because whoever was dipping it up would make sure your shrimp ended up in their bowl! LOL
I make a split pea soup with smoked sausage.
(plus onion, celery, baby carots, salt, and sometimes a potato)
I’d like to make a navy bean soup too, but I’m having inconsistent results. I don’t really know my spices…
I just made a very large batch of butternut squash soup yesterday and froze it in individual sized servings.