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June 2016 Trail Bytes: Tomato Carrot Soup Recipe for Home or Trail
June 30, 2016
With homegrown tomatoes ripening in gardens across the Northern Hemisphere, this issue of Trail Bytes features a recipe for Tomato Carrot Soup that you can dehydrate and enjoy on the trail or make for dinner tonight.
In Switzerland, the majority of people live in flats (apartments). That doesn’t stop them from gardening if they want to exercise their green thumbs. There are outparcels of land along railroad tracks and at the corners of farmers’ fields, near the flats, where a person can rent a small rectangular garden plot. I’d estimate the size of the typical plot to be between three hundred and five hundred square feet.
The photo below and at the top show a garden village I passed the other day while riding my bike. Most gardeners put up a shed to store tools or just to hang out in. The more extravagant garden huts have wood-burning ovens, grills, solar panels, and curtains on the windows.
It’s a rare day when I don’t eat tomatoes; I was born with the tomato-loving gene. They’re high in vitamin C and numerous other antioxidants which contribute to cardiovascular health and disease prevention. But mainly, I just love the taste of homegrown tomatoes.
When I was a kid, my father and I worked a tomato patch in the corner of our yard in New Jersey. His secret at planting time was to add one scoop of peat moss and one scoop of composted cow manure to each hole. We also fertilized with composted fish heads from our annual deep-sea fishing trip. As the summer progressed, we picked basket-loads of tomatoes, many of which went into bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.
Whether you grow your own tomatoes or buy them at the farmer’s market, try this recipe for tomato-carrot soup:
Tomato Carrot Soup
Yield: 7 Cups
Slice carrots and boil in soup pot with one cup water and twelve grams of vegetable bouillon.
In a small frying pan, cook diced onions and minced garlic on medium heat for about five minutes
Add cooked onions and garlic to carrots in soup pot and continue simmering.
Add diced tomatoes and seasonings to pot, return to boil, and then reduce temperature to simmer for twenty minutes.
Let soup cool a little, then run it through a blender. Return blended soup to stove and simmer a few minutes, adjusting seasonings to taste. If serving immediately, add ¼ cup half-and-half cream. Do not add cream to any soup that will be dehydrated.
To dehydrate, spread one cup of soup per Excalibur Dehydrator tray using a non-stick sheet. Dehydrate at 135° F for approximately ten hours. When soup leather is almost dry, flip the non-stick sheet upside down and pull away from the leather. It should pull off in one sheet. Finish drying directly on the mesh tray.
Tear dried leather into smaller pieces and store in an air-tight container. I recommend vacuum sealing with the FoodSaver wide-mouth jar sealer attachment. Do not leave soup leather out in the open. It will quickly reabsorb moisture from the air.
Photo above shows ⅓ cup soup leather and one cup reconstituted soup.
One cup of soup will yield approximately ⅓ cup (tightly packed) soup leather. The dry weight of one cup of soup should be about twenty-four grams (.85 oz.).
For each cup of soup that you want to reconstitute, combine one cup of boiling water with ⅓ cup soup leather. I find two cups to be a good serving size which also works well if you want to reconstitute it in a 24-ounce capacity Thermos Food Jar. The soup rehydrates well with a few minutes of cooking and stirring in a pot or shaking in a thermos. If reconstituting at home, stir in a little half-and-half cream to make it extra creamy. For trail use, the soup tastes just fine without cream, but if desired, you could add powdered milk or coffee creamer.
That’s it for this month. Enjoy the bounty of summer gardening and be sure to dry some of that homegrown goodness for the trail. The next newsletter will come earlier than usual, in the middle of July, since Dominique and I will be on holiday at the end of July.
Chef Glenn & Dominique
P.S. If you have any questions or comments about this issue of Trail Bytes, please reply to this email or use the contact form at BackpackingChef.com.
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