How I Preserve Broccoli and Goat Cheese Soup
One of my favorite lunches ever is broccoli and goat cheese soup. If you prefer cheddar, go ahead and use that instead, but I just adore goat cheese. It also lends a rich, creamy texture to broccoli soup that would be otherwise lacking.
While I do have a bit of a love affair going on with my new All-American pressure canner, this soup is part of my preparedness pantry courtesy of my dehydrator. Dehydrating this soup takes up precious little space, and I can store the broccoli, cheese, and seasonings together in powdered form.
If you are prepping and putting up food in a small space, you have to get a dehydrator. It’s amazing how much food can be kept in a jar or mylar bag- definitely for those preppers in apartments and small cabins.
The best part, this makes 8 servings of shelf-stable food for only $13.00! This price is based on buying a 4lb bag of frozen broccoli for just under $6, as well as a 1lb of goat cheese for slightly under $7 from my local wholesale club. If you grow enough broccoli to do this with homegrown broccoli, then the cost is even less. The cost per serving is the $1.63, far lower than commercially prepared, dehydrated meals.
Note: I ended up only using 3 of the 4 pounds of broccoli. The rest was a side dish to meatloaf. So, technically, the cost to make this soup much soup would be less.
How to Make Broccoli and Goat Cheese Soup
First, you need to make broccoli soup. This is about as easy as it gets. I’m not even sure something this simple really counts as a recipe! But, its delicious, so here it is:
- Heat a pot full of liquid to a boil. This could be water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock- whatever you have on hand.
- Add broccoli florets to the pot, and allow to cook until they have softened.
- Transfer the broccoli to a blender, and add some of the cooking liquid. Fill the blender with the cooking liquid to about 1/3 to 1/2.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Pulse blender until you have a broccoli puree.
- Serve hot with 1/2 cup of fresh goat cheese (which will melt and taste divine), or dehydrate and store in ether a vacuum-sealed mason jar or in a mylar bag with an O2 obsorber.
How to Dehydrate Broccoli and Goat Cheese Soup
- Break up the goat cheese, and spread it as evenly as possible on a plastic insert for a dehydrator tray. One pound of goat cheese typically fills up one of my dehydrator trays.
- Pour the broccoli puree onto the remaining solid plastic inserts.
- For my dehydrator, one tray is filled with goat cheese, and the other 7 trays are filled with the puree of 3lbs of broccoli. This makes twelve individual servings.
- Dehydrate on 160°F for several hours.
- The timing really depends upon how wet the broccoli puree was when it went into the dehydrator, but check it every couple of hours. I usually rotate trays at the 2 hour mark, but I leave the goat cheese on the bottom tray.
- When you check the progress, make sure to blot the goat cheese with a paper towel. There will be fat that exudes from the goat cheese. That must be removed so the end-product doesn’t turn rancid.
- The broccoli will dry first, remove the broccoli. The cheese will require a little more help. Continue to blot away until as much of the fat as possible. Otherwise, the fat could go rancid, and that would just be criminal to do to this soup.
- Using a blender or a coffee grinder, turn the broccoli flakes and the goat cheese (it should look and feel like little rocks by now) into powder.
- You can then run the powder through the dehydrator one last time for about an hour to make sure you have removed all the possible moisture.
Run the dry broccoli flakes and the dried and blotted goat cheese through a blender to partially process the powder. Then transfer to a coffee grinder to get a more even, finely ground powder. And, just to be sure there is no remaining moisture before sealing this up for your pantry, spread a thin layer of the combined cheese and broccoli powder on your dehydrator trays. Use the lowest setting for about an hour. Then, run it through a coffee grinder just one last time before storing.
Once dry, you have several options for storing your soup. You can use a vacuum sealer with a mason jar lid attachment. You could also use a mason jar or mylar bags, plus an o2 absorber. For demonstration purposes, I’ve chosen a pint canning jar.
How to Rehydrate the Soup
To rehydrate and make the soup, just add 1/4 cup of powder to 1 cup of water in a pot. Let it sit for 30 minutes to soften up. It really doesn’t matter too much if the water is cold or hot. Next, put the pot and reheat. Simmer until you reach your desired consistency. The finer you make the powder, the easier the reconstitution is.
Ready for the Pantry
Can you believe it? Three pounds of broccoli and one pound of goat cheese, 8 individual servings of soup, fit into a pint jar! Who says they don’t have room to store food? Assuming you have removed as much of the fat as possible from the goat cheese, this should store well, vacuum sealed in a dark, cool space, for 5 years.
Equipment you will need
This is the food dehydrator that I have, and the same kit I bought a couple of years ago.
To seal in mason jars, you will need a vacuum sealer with a jar attachment.
Your other option is to seal in jars or mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.
Today’s post is part of the Prepared Bloggers “Round Robin” for 7/29/2014. Please check out all the other great food preservation and storage ideas shared below.
Join us as we share different reasons and methods of how we preserve food to create a long-term storage plan for our families. Click on each link to be taken to a new blog with helpful information and tips.
Mom with a PREP – How to Dehydrate Ginger and Make Ginger Powder
Preparedness Mama – Make Jam Without Pectin
Mama Kautz – Dehydrating
Busy B Homemaker – Freezer Jam
Ed That Matters – Anyone Can Do It: Fool Proof Food Storage
The Apartment Prepper – Easy Marinated Mushrooms
The Homesteading Hippy – How to Use Your Pressure Canner
Montana Homesteader – Making and Preserving Cherry Pit Syrup
Are We Crazy or What – How to Dehydrate Cherries
Your Thrive Life – How I Preserve Food: Meals in a Jar
Melissa K Norris – Re-Usable Canning Tattler Lids-Do They Really Work?
Real Food Living – Preserve and Store Grains wiith Dry Ice
Cooke’s Frontier – Smoking
Homestead Dreamer – Water Bath Canning
Evergrowing Farm – How to Preserve Red Chile
Survival Sherpa – Modern Mountain Man MRE’s
The Backyard Pioneer – Fermentation
Trayer Wilderness – How We Preserve Food
Living Life in Rural Iowa – Vegetable Soup
The Organic Prepper – How to Make Jam without using added Pectin
Homesteading Mom – How I Preserve Broccoli and Goat Cheese Soup
A Matter of Preparedness – How I Preserve Using Mylar Bags