"Rule number one of camp cooking--be ready to improvise!" says Mai-Yan Kwan, one of the co-founders of the outdoor cooking blog Dirty Gourmet, dirtygourmet.com. On our backpacking trip, we forgot the chips to go with this mildly spicy soup, so we made our own by toasting flour tortillas in oil.
GEAR Nalgene bottle (for measuring), 2-qt. backpacking saucepan, backpacking stove and fuel, spork, backpacking ladle, small cutting board, small knife
4 teaspoons dried onion flakes*
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons tomato powder*, such as Savory Spice Shop or Harmony House Foods
3 1/2 cups dehydrated black bean flakes*, such as Frontier Co-op
2 cups freeze-dried corn*, such as Harmony House Foods
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
Crushed tortilla chips
1 firm-ripe avocado
How to Make It
Measure out half each of onion flakes, cumin, chili powder, tomato powder, black bean flakes, corn, and bouillon cubes into 2 large resealable plastic bags.
Add 3 1/2 cups water to each bag and let sit about 10 minutes to rehydrate. Pour one bag at a time into a 2-qt. saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until simmering, 12 to 15 minutes. Spoon into mugs and heat remaining soup.
Cut limes into wedges and avocado into cubes. Serve soup with tortilla chips, lime, and avocado.
*Find dried onion flakes with the spices at well-stocked grocery stores or online; find tomato powder online. Frontier Co-op black bean flakes rehydrate nicely for soup and chili ($1 1/1 lb.; frontiercoop.com). Harmony House Foods freeze-dried and dehydrated vegetables (such as carrots, green beans, and corn) taste great as snacks and in soups and stews (from $2.95/4 oz.; harmonyhousefoods.com).