Another Delicious Camping Meal–Lentil Soup!

In a previous post, I wrote about using Bear Creek or some other commercially prepared soup mixes to create some hot and filling camping meals. Today, I want to tell you about another great soup, but one that’s made from scratch: Lentil Soup. I am a great fan of the Bear Creek soups; but still feel the need to make a good pot of lentil soup several times a year. It is every bit as tasty as the commercial soups and takes only a bit longer to prepare as the lentils cook up pretty quickly.

Ingredients are as follows:


Start with some fresh and dried vegetables…

  • 1 lb. bag of lentils
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5-10 small carrots, chopped

    Lentils and ham

    Add lentils and ham bone…

  • dried mushrooms, if desired
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups water (to start, I always add a cup or two more)
  • 3-6 tsps chicken soup base (1 use 3-4 to maximize

    And some tomatoes and spices, and voila!

    taste and minimize sodium)

  • ham bone
  • 1 ham slice, cubed
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

My original recipe began with adding water, lentils and soup base to a Dutch oven and adding remaining ingredients from there. However, over the years, I have realized you can enhance taste and shorten cooking time by sautéing the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and mushrooms in 1-2 tbsps of olive oil before adding the water and lentils.

The finished product!Once veggies are prepared, add water and lentils, plus soup base to taste, tomatoes, ham bone and spices. Whenever I bake a ham, I save the bone and freeze it for my next pot of soup. When I make soup and find no ham bone in the freezer, we simply buy a ham slice with the bone in. Also, one benefit of making this soup from scratch over the commercial varieties is that you can control the sodium content. If sodium is a concern, either purchase a low sodium chicken soup base, reduce the quantity used, or both.

Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes until veggies are tender. Sautéing the vegetables first reduces the original cooking time by about an hour, so you can quickly throw this soup together after a busy day filled with camping activities, and it will be ready for your hungry crew in less than an hour! A few minutes before serving, add the cubed ham to warm it through. Serve with crusty bread. Bon appétit!

For more information about camping check out Woodall’s for more camping articles.

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