This nearly instant cream of mushroom soup mix is put together using easy-to-find ingredients. It’s perfect for quick, weeknight dinners or lightweight camping!
I happen to have two backpacking cookbooks on my shelf! One was written by my mother (anyone else got a feminist nature-loving mother?), and the other was published by the same publisher as Fermenting Made Simple!
However, neither of them had a recipe for cream of mushroom soup… something that I really wanted to for our trip on the Juan de Fuca trail (mostly because I randomly bought a 5 kg bag of dried maitake mushrooms, and I needed a culinary use). So I decided to create the recipe myself!
It’s based on my mother’s Alfredo Rice Divan recipe… without the ham, broccoli, or rice. So a fairly different recipe. 😉
Not just for backpacking!
Since I had such a large bag of dried mushrooms to use up, I ended up making a lot of instant mushroom soup. It’s a really good “instant” meal for all sorts of occasions:
- Camping & Cabining: While I designed this recipe as a lightweight meal for backpacking, it’s also handy for camping or at an off-grid cabin. A lightweight meal is convenient any time refrigeration is difficult or it’s hard to bring in a week’s worth of food.
- Instant lunch or dinner: Sometimes it’s nice to have an instant meal. While I recommend freezing the dried soup mix for long-term storage… it’s pretty easy to heat up and serve when you need it.
- Gifts: Meal trains are great, sometimes… When my sister had her second child she was given a lot of food all at once, which meant she was forced to eat big meals every night just to prevent them from spoiling. Gifting a instant mushroom soup means it will be available whenever they need it!
Store-bought versus DIY dehydration
I created this recipe to use up my huge bag of mushrooms. And the soup does include quite a few packaged foods. If you want to avoid the salt/preservatives/packaging, it’s fine to dehydrate the mushrooms yourself. You can even make homemade cheese sauce mix!
The recipe recommends using a mix of dried mushrooms. Since I already owned a bag of maitake mushrooms, I decided to dry the rest of the mushrooms myself.
Here’s how to dehydrate mushrooms:
- Wash or brush away any dirt. Cut off any bad spots and the woody portion from the stem.
- Slice the mushrooms in half, or in 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices.
- Follow the instructions for your dehydrator, or dry at 90F (30C) for 2 hours, then increase the temperature to 125F (50C) and continue until fully dry. The mushrooms should be crisp and brittle.
- Mix the noodles and the cheese powder package, mushrooms, ground almonds, bouillon powder, garlic powder, and parsley flakes in a medium-sized zip-top bag. The bag is now ready for long-term storage or for packing into your backpack. The soup mix is shelf-stable for up to 1 month. Alternatively, freeze it for up to 6 months. (I've gone with conservative estimates here... because I don't want anyone to have their soup mix go bad.)
- When you're ready to make the soup, put 5 cups of water into a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the soup mix. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, until the noodles are fully cooked. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed. (The saltiness will depend on your bouillon). Feel free to add 2 Tbsp of butter for richness.
- If you're serving the soup at home, top it with some fresh parsley, chives, or sliced scallions. Store the leftovers in the fridge, and enjoy within 4 days.
- I used GF mac and cheese, but feel free to use whatever type of mac and cheese you want. I recommend white cheddar because orange mushroom soup is a bit too weird for my family.
- Ground almonds were added to this recipe for protein. If you can't eat nuts, feel free to replace them with an equal amount of instant milk powder.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 805mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g
The sodium is based regular bouillon powder and no additional salt.