What is pocket soup? It is an extremely slow and tedious process to make home made bullion. Bullion is easily found in any grocery store so why on earth would you go through all the effort? This is the most common question one hears while working towards, or living a sustainable lifestyle. My simple answer, because I can. Long answer: like many convenience items found in grocery stores, the bullion is packed full of preservatives and artificial crap. Luckily if you have a slow cooker and dehydrator, it’s as easy as walking away.
I used bone broth for this, if you’d like to see how I made the bone broth check out this previous article, Making Bone Broth (gaiassanctorum.com) or my you tube video, I’ll link at the end of the article. First step is to skim any fat or grease from the bone broth. So if needed, warm and let cool so the grease and fat solidifies at the top. Do what you will with these, I always have uses for fat, but if anyone has uses for the grease I’d love to hear them. After the broth has been skimmed it needs to be strained, cheese cloth will work best, but a clean cotton fabric works just as well. Once strained return the broth to the cleaned crock pot and set on low with the lid off.
I cannot stress enough, low and slow. I can’t give a definite time frame with so many factors at work. Like, humidity levels in the environment, the varying temps of “low” from one slow cooker to the next, or initial cook time of the broth. Now you don’t need a crock pot, you can do this on a stove top, you’ll just have to keep a much closer eye on it. If this burns, there’s no saving it. What we’re looking for, is one of two things. Either an extremely thick syrup, or for it to cook down and and turn into beef jello.
I cooked mine down to a very thick and sticky syrup. I took about 48 hours to get it to this stage. Next I put it in the dehydrator. Now because I didn’t let my bone broth fully gel, I had to use solid sheets to dry it out on. if you can get it to fully gel, regular dehydrator sheets will be fine.
The key to drying this out, is no heat, I have a fan setting on my dehydrator. You can also place it in front of a fan and it’ll do just as well. The down side to not cooking the bone broth to the gel stage, is I needed to add an extra step. Using solid sheets, no air is able to access the underside, or middle.
So, after three days in the dehydrator, I scraped the broth off the sheets and flipped them over to finish drying. It was another two days before they were no longer sticky when I touched, or ripped it. Like I said, low and slow.
Now you can store it in a jar, bag, whatever suits your fancy. It tends to settle and stick to itself so I tossed my pieces in some flower to ease the separating when I need to use it.
Pocket soup is an easy thing to make, just time consuming. My greatest excitement is to be able to take this with us on backpacking and hiking trips and still have a delicious meal while on the trail. Next up, is figuring the water ratio to reconstitute it, that part is purely personal preference. So give it a try!
Here’s my youtube video on it: https://youtu.be/5mE79pqIZR0