At first glance these excellent tasty mixtures might seem a bit too lean for backpacking, but I used half the recommended water, so a packet made up to one litre with water (so it would fit in my 1100 ml billy). I used the stock sachet and added a 50 gram sachet of tomato paste and approx half a container of the Hormel’s bacon pieces I wrote about the other day (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hormel-real-bacon-pieces/) These three ingredients made up into a very tasty soup (approx 500 mls each for two people) and containing 2392 kj (minestrone = 180 grams) + 178 kj (tomato = 50 grams) + 159 kj (bacon= 42.5 grams) = 2729 kj. Between two people this 653 calories (272.5 grams = 2.39 calories per gram ) provides each with 326 calories. Half was more than I or Della could eat – even though it was very pleasant. Another time I might leave out the McKenzie’s Stock Sachet (which comes in the packet – as I don’t like salt very much) and add maybe a ¼ teaspoonful of ‘Harissa’ eg Masterfoods ‘Middle Eastern Spice Blend’. Folks who don’t mind salt might add the McKenzie’s flavour sachet, and if they don’t want to carry a sachet of tomato paste (in case it leaks) might substitute a 24 gram (= 114 calories) sachet of Continental ‘Sensation’ CupaSoup ‘Vine Ripened Tomato’ instead. I’m sure folks can think of a few other ideas to mix and match this to make a tasty meal. I have already remarked that you can thicken a soup (I didn’t feel this one needed it) with Continental Mashed Potato: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-mckenzie-quick-cook-soups-180-grams-per-packet/
Update: Today being home alone I made this for the second time following my recommendations above. Without the flavour sachet the soup was much less salty and tastier, particularly with the Harissa – which might even be increased to closer to a half teaspoonful. I needed no salt, but delight in pepper which i confess to having used liberally- which only made it even nicer. I ate three bowls full! This recipe is now so much better than ‘hiking meals’ – I urge you to try it. You may have to use the vegetable mix in a different Mckenzie’s ‘Quick Cook’ as locally the Minestrone flavour is becoming hard to source. Damn!