Here’s the recipe for one of my go-to camping meals: I call this one Spicy Chorizo Soup.
- At least 2 chorizo sausages
- When I say chorizo, I’m talking about a Spanish style sausage. Apparently there are a bunch of other tasty things out there that get called chorizo. I’ll make it my mission to try them all!
- a bunch of spring onions
- You might call these shallots or scallions depending on where you are in the world.
- at least 1 capsicum
- this is another one of those things that has a bunch of names. You might know it as a bell pepper or paprika. Try mixing up the colours to keep your dinner looking good.
- 1 tub of tomato paste
- tinned tomato would work too… but the tin takes up a lot of space.
- plenty of spices
- I really like the combination of black pepper, ground paprika and dried chilli. If you don’t have those, you can throw in any kind of spices that you can find floating around in the back of you pantry. Carry them in a zip lock bag so you don’t have carry any packaging around with you.
- 1 packet instant rice or cous cous (I prefer Mexican flavoured rice or plain brown rice)
- Instant rice is the best. It only takes a few minutes to cook. If you’ve had an epic adventure, you will be way too hungry and impatient to wait for normal rice to cook. You should be able to find it in the supermarket wherever they keep the rice and pasta.
- any other vegetables you have lying around
- at least 500mL of clean water
This should be enough for two relatively hungry people. To bulk it up, just add another packet of instant rice, more chorizo and more veggies.
1. Chop the spring onions, chorizo and any veggies you have.
If you don’t have a knife, you can just rip them up with your hands.
If you’re really organised you can chop everything at home, tip it all into a zip lock bag and pack it inside your camping pot.
2. Set up your biggest pot on your camping stove or on a fire, then fry the chorizo and spring onion.
You don’t need any oil. There’s enough in the chorizo to stop things from sticking together… and oil always seems to leak through your pack anyway.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, then tip in enough water to cover everything up.
Keep watching the pot and add more water if needed. Stir occasionally with a fancy camping spoon…. or a clean looking stick.
4. Boil everything like crazy until the rice is cooked through… or until you get too hungry to wait anymore.
Depending on your stove, this could take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes. The longer you leave it, the more flavoursome the soupy goop will be.
5. Eat and enjoy!
If you’re really slumming it, you can use the plastic tubs that the tomato paste came in to scoop food out of the pot and straight into your belly.
In an ideal world, you’d have all these things listed below. If you’re missing any, you can go without, or improvise.
- camping stove + fuel (or some fire buildings skills)
- lighter or matches (to light the stove or the fire)
- pot or large saucepan
- a knife that’s tough enough to chop the chorizo
- some kind of stirring implement (this could be your knife, a spoon or a stick)
- drink bottle for your water (unless you’re near a nice fresh stream or snowdrift)
- something to eat out of (a bowl, cup, the tomato paste tub or the pot that you cooked in)
- something to eat with (spoons… or your hands)
- something to clean your pan with (paper towel is good. A little bit of dishwashing liquid in a zip lock back can be handy too)
- hand sanitizer (you can get itty-bitty travel sized ones)
- aluminium foil (it doesn’t weigh much, and it can come in handy as a windshield or a way to wrap up leftover food)
Tested on location
Bunny Bucket Buttress, NSW, Australia
The first time I tried this meal, was on Bunny Bucket Buttress, sometime after midnight. We had been climbing in the dark for about 5 hours and we finally reached a sandy ledge where we could cook. Read more about that saga here.
I don’t know whether sheer exhaustion affected my taste buds (we had been climbing in the dark for over 5 hours) but this felt like the most delicious food I had ever eaten. Hope it warms you up too!
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, New Zealand
Chorizo definitely tastes good in high places. Dirtbagjens and I tested this recipe again on Mitre Peak after massive day of vertical bush-bashing.