Monday, May 30, 2005

Cheddar-Broccoli Soup with Croutons

Friday night my son and I camped at Silver Fork Campground (link is a PDF file) on the Silver Fork of the American River. Dinner had to be quick since we didn’t leave home until after 8 p.m.
I really didn’t have a plan until arrived at camp after 9 p.m. My original menu included marinated pork chops, broccoli, grilled bread and salad. On a fluke at the market, I purchased a package of instant cheddar-broccoli soup, a soup that my son loves.

The soup, sold by Bear Creek Country Kitchens, was sold in an 11.20-ounce package, enough to feed 8 (8-ounce) portions. The directions say to boil 8 cups water, whisk in soup mix and simmer 10 minutes. Though the directions advise to add salt and pepper “to taste,” my soup didn’t need any.

Cheddar-broccoli soup with croutons illuminated by a Coleman lantern. Posted by Hello


To prepare two servings, I boiled 1-1/2 cups water in a 5-inch Dutch oven over the fire and whisked in 5 heaping spoons of soup mix. The soup thickened as it simmered for about 15 minutes.

After it was ready to eat, I realized that I had overestimated the amount of soup mix to add. It was thick! Bear Creek’s instructions advise 1/2-cup soup mix for 2 cups of water.

For garnish, I diced two slices of sourdough bread and tossed them into melted butter in a skillet. I then placed 4 or 5 broccoli flowerets into my portion of the soup. (My son doesn’t eat broccoli right now!)

I simmered the soup for a few minutes with the broccoli and added the croutons in just before sitting down to a pork chop (minus the salad this night).

This soup is an example of what you can do when you're pressed for time in camp. A nice meal with a salad and sandwich can be had in 30 minutes or so.

Pork chops sizzle over a hot campfire. Extra croutons sit in front. Posted by Hello

Serving idea from the Bear Creek website: "Prepared according to package directions, our Cheddar Broccoli Soup Mix is delicious served in a bread bowl or add 1 cup cooked broccoli and served over baked potato with crumbled bacon and cheese."

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