Camping cuisine is more than just gooey s’mores and blackened hot dogs. In fact, the campfire can be used for cozy drinks and main dishes, like soup, that can fill you up and warm you up all at the same time. What is the best way to make soup over a campfire? – a Dutch oven.
Not sure what to make? Below are seven of our favorite campfire soups to make in your Dutch oven. Second helpings are not only allowed but encouraged. Warm up while you’re winter camping with recipes you’ll be excited to make by the fire.
How to Cook in a Dutch Oven
Before you get the fire going, it’s worth mentioning a few simple tips to cooking in a Dutch oven that will have you feeling like a chef in no time.
Since Dutch ovens are made from cast iron, nothing will melt or warp while cooking over a flame or hot coals. A Dutch oven is heavy-duty and fire-resistant making it an ideal choice for cooking over a campfire. Though you can line your cast iron dutch oven with tin foil for easy cleanup, one of the best parts of cooking with cast iron is the “seasoning,” obtained from cooking recipe after recipe. No, we’re not talking salt and pepper. Cast iron infuses more flavor into your cooking the more you use it. Learn how to season cast iron and you’ll find your dutch oven will easily become a treasured family heirloom. The more you use it, the better it is.
The key to dutch oven cooking is a steady campfire or hot coals. Start by learning how to build a proper campfire. On a cold camping day, you’ll enjoy staying close to the fire and keeping it fed. Your reward?– a hearty, flavorful soup to keep you warm.
Campfire Bean ‘N’ Ham Soup
If you’re looking for a hearty recipe that will fill up the whole family, this will do the trick. This Campfire Bean ‘N’ Ham Soup starts with a pound of navy beans and four cups of fully cooked lean ham, this dish will replenish any energy lost throughout the day from fishing and hiking, while setting you up for a good night’s sleep. The beans slow cook in your Dutch oven for 1-4 hours, so get a head start earlier in the day and finish it off just before dinner time.
Ginger Garlic Chicken Ramen
Say hello to the grown-up, more mature version of a favorite dish from your college days. By discarding the seasoning packets and making your own broth, ramen takes on an entirely new life and flavor profile. This Ginger Garlic Chicken Ramen will have you reminiscing about the good old days while still being grateful for the current season of life. Full of flavor and easy to make, don’t be surprised if this recipe is added to your weekly meal rotation.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup
Gentle on the grocery budget and super simple to throw together, this Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup always aims to please and never fails to be a hit. It’s the perfect meal option for chilly fall nights with family and friends around the campfire, especially since it’s made using the Dutch oven. Put all the ingredients in and let your Dutch oven do what it does best. To save even more time, chop and prep your veggies before leaving home and just throw them in when the recipe calls for them.
Not your typical go-to recipe when you think of making soup over a campfire but trust us when we say you (and your tastebuds) won’t regret it. This soup celebrates all the flavors you love in a pan of lasagna, but in a hearty, comforting bowl instead. This Lasagna Soup gives you all the highlights of lasagna but without any of the work that goes into making traditional lasagna. Plus, it’s done in about 30 minutes! What’s not to like?
Spicy Shrimp Pho
Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a traditional Vietnamese soup. This Spicy Shrimp Pho recipe is warm and comforting making it the ideal option for dinner on those cold winter camping nights. It’s light yet filling and doesn’t skimp on the flavor at all. It’s also a quick way to add some seafood into your diet without stressing over how to prepare it. Simple. Flavorful. Super delicious. Cook the noodles ahead of your trip and cut down on prep needed at the campsite.
Healing Chicken Soup
While we love the weather and being outdoors in the elements, the weather doesn’t always love us back. For those times when the cold gets the best of you, try this Healing Chicken Soup recipe. Ready in under 30 minutes, this soup is packed full of lemon, fresh herbs, bone broth, turmeric, and garlic that all have been known to heal the body. Don’t let that hike keep you down! After a bowl or two of this soup and a good night’s rest, you’ll be back on your feet first thing in the morning. Tip: Pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way into camp.
Boondock Butternut Squash Soup
There are a ton of vegetable soups out there you can make, but why not make one that’s a little more interesting? This Boondock Butternut Squash Soup will keep you both warm and full. There is some chopping and prep work involved, so if you want to save on time then handle those tasks at home and simply dump the ingredients in the Dutch oven at the camp. This recipe is used with a crockpot but can easily be used with a Dutch oven. Just between us, it could arguably be better in a Dutch oven anyway especially an older, seasoned one.
Best Dutch Ovens for Camping
Not all Dutch ovens are created equally. Dutch ovens for home use typically have a flat bottom sealed in enamel whereas camping Dutch ovens are made entirely of cast iron and have small support legs on the bottom.
Mighty Hand 6-Quart Camping Dutch Oven with Griddle
This Dutch oven comes pre-seasoned with a dual-function lid/skillet that easily converts your oven into an outdoor griddle. It also comes with a lid lifter and hanger that makes campfire cooking simple and convenient.
Don’t forget to protect yourself with oven mitts and pot holders as you handle your hot dutch oven.
Cast Iron 9-Quart Dutch Oven
This large Dutch oven has been referred to as a traditional cast iron pot but on steroids. Large enough for big batches of stews and soups, this oven includes a lid that can also be reversed to become a full-size skillet. It’s the perfect cooking option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Find a Dutch oven to make a part of your camp kitchen.
While most campers enjoy soup during the colder months, don’t make the mistake of passing up these recipes during the warmer seasons. Pull out your Dutch oven as often as possible and watch how many people it lures to your campfire begging for a bowl.