Bean and Rice Survival Soup – Easy and Adaptable Recipe

KJ Barber
By KJ Barber April 26, 2019 11:06

Bean and Rice Survival Soup – Easy and Adaptable Recipe

I wanted to share this bean and rice survival soup recipe, because it’s an inexpensive and easy one to prep, store, and make when you’re ready to use it. Once it’s in the jar and stored, you will only need water and heat to have a hearty bowl of soup loaded with carbohydrates and proteins.

A great perk of this recipe is that it’s highly adaptable. You don’t like rice? Simply omit it. Or, you want it spicy and full of robust flavor? Add your choice of seasonings to the jar, which I will get into greater detail further down in the article.

Another way to adapt this recipe is the batch size. The first instructions I am about to share is for a large batch, which makes it appealing to preppers for survival because it makes about 270 meals for under $300. Based on a 2000-calorie per day recommendation, and assuming it’s the only available edible item in sight, it’s approximately 90 days worth of meals for one person.

I’m also going to share a much smaller batch that can be made for around $10-15, give or take a couple dollars. The cost will depend on what you add or omit, as well as the cost of groceries in your area. I will be demonstrating the smaller batch in photos.Bean and Rice Survival SoupFirst, the basic recipe for the large batch:

  • 4 20-pound bags of white rice
  • 22 1-pound bags of red kidney beans
  • 22 1-pound bags of barley
  • 22 1-pound bags of lentils
  • 6 1-pound bags of green split peas
  • 6 1-pound bags of chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • 30 pounds of dry bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • Seasonings of choice (example: garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, or other dried spices and herbs)

And, the smaller batch recipe:

  • 2/3 cup kidney beans
  • 2 cup barley
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup green split peas
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • Bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • *Seasonings of your choice

This all fits in 2 individual quart jars.

*The seasonings I chose (per quart jar) was 2 bouillon cubes, 1 teaspoon of salt, about 1 tablespoon of dried onions, about 1 tablespoon of dried celery flakes, 1 teaspoon tarragon, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. For the record, this is a relatively bland batch of seasonings. If you like spice and bold flavor, add more according to your own liking.

Now, that you have an idea what goes in it…what is the best way to store it?

Related: How to Make Portable Soup

Prepping For Storage

The prep is the same for both size batches, and is as follows:

#1. Mix all the beans in a large container.Bean and Rice Survival Soup#2. Fill a mason jar just under half way.Bean and Rice Survival Soup#3. Put 1-1.5 cups of rice in a baggie, then add the bag to the jar, leaving enough room to add a baggie of seasoning. The reason to separate the rice and seasoning is because the beans need to cook much longer than the rice, and this will allow you to add the rice later avoiding mushy rice.Bean and Rice Survival Soup#4. Place the seasonings and bouillon you choose into a little baggie. Separating the spices also allows you to remove expired seasonings and replace them.Bean and Rice Survival Soup

Bean and Rice Survival Soup To make an individual pot of soup from this recipe, you will need the ingredients in the jar, and at least 3 quarts of water. Then follow these easy directions:

#1. Pour the water into your pot and place on a heat source.Bean and Rice Survival Soup#2. Add the beans to the water.Bean and Rice Survival Soup#3. Empty your seasoning packet, a little at a time if you prefer to taste as you go.Bean and Rice Survival Soup#4. Cover and simmer on a low heat, until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1.5 hours.Bean and Rice Survival Soup#5. Then add the rice, and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until done.Bean and Rice Survival SoupThe finished soup is fairly thick. If you prefer a more brothy soup, add an additional quart of water in the beginning. But, I would then also add more seasonings as well.Bean and Rice Survival Soup

Shelf Life of the Ingredients

Keep in mind the shelf life for all ingredients that you add, such as:

  • Dried beans – 10 years to indefinitely (depending who you believe)
  • White rice – 4-5 years, unless vacuum sealed (then about 10 years)
  • Spices – most ground, dried, or whole spices are good for 2-5 years

Related: 20 Foods that Will Outlast You

So, as long as you separating the dried spices from the beans and rice, the above recipes should last a minimum of 2 years, depending on the spice.

However, there is no need to toss the entire batch. After 2-5 years, just change out the seasonings and start over for the expiration date.

If you do not want to store the batches in quart jars, you can also place the batches in quart or gallon size baggies. However, critters can get through bags much easier than glass jars. So, make sure to store the bags of ingredients in an airtight storage bin.

Optional Additions to the Soup

If circumstances allow, you can always add fresh ingredients, such as meat or veggies. Personally, I like a good ham added to bean soup.

But, if you’re in survival mode, that might not be an option. So, having more seasonings in the jar will allow for more flavor to develop, and you might not even miss the meat.

And, even though it will be an abundance of bean and rice soup, altering the seasonings between the batches will give you a bit of variety, which is especially nice if you are truly in a state of survival and don’t have anything else to eat.

However, having batches of this on hand is also great for the temporary survival situations, such as a bad storm knocking your power out for a week or two. One jar, a pot, water, and a source of heat is all you need to eat inexpensively and healthy for a while.

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KJ Barber
By KJ Barber April 26, 2019 11:06
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58 Comments

  1. Jordan April 26, 14:53

    Thank you for sharing this information!! Very much appreciated. I will share this site with my friends. Awesome content.

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    Reply to this comment
  2. Farmer April 26, 15:09

    I like the idea. I’ve done this but used the more expensive dehydrated beans. They are cooked and dried in the production plant. DH beans take 10 minutes to rehydrate…same as the rice. Hence a 10 minute meal with the savings in fuel as benefit.

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    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 26, 17:24

      Okay, Farmer, without doing an extensive internet search myself, can you describe dehydrated beans in a little more detail? Brand name would be a good starting point.

      For those who would like an unbreakable, lighter weight storage vessel, I like 2-quart mayonnaise jars. They have a wide mouth that I can better get my hand in. They are insect and waterproof and reasonably airtight. If you want to make them moreso, remove the lid liner that comes with the jar and melt an eighth of an inch of paraffin wax into the lid. Let it cool until it is solidified but not hard and screw it down on the jar.

      By the way, I am quite fond of mayonnaise in case you hadn’t guessed. I prefer it to butter on sour dough bread.

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      Reply to this comment
      • Farmer April 26, 18:00

        Chuck…i get mine in bulk from harmonyhousefoods.com. there may be others particularly try Amazon. Like i said…more $$$ but much more convenient.

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    • Low Bass April 26, 17:56

      Excellent suggestion!

      Reply to this comment
    • Dog Trainer April 26, 19:53

      Good link to purchase DH beans. Thanks. Very interesting idea to use DH beans… would really limit the cooking time, and cooking resources might be very limited. I do have a gas stove and can cook with power out, but it won’t last forever. Also have a grill with a side burner, but have never used it so not sure if it would even boil water. And if it is summer the heat of cooking in house would be much more extreme looking at 2 hours of cooking verses maybe 20 minutes using DH beans. Really great Idea.

      I grow organic food for me and my dogs and have grown Chinese Noodle Beans for the last six or so years. Just a couple of years ago I found out how good the beans are when you let them dry for dry beans. They are smaller black beans but taste kinda like chicken, no just kidding, they taste a little like black eyed peas.
      I have a bunch saved and am going to go ahead and cook them all up, drain and let air dry and put them in my dehydrator. The time up front sounds like a good time investment to save on the back end when you really might it.

      Chinese Noodle Beans grow extremely well in the heat, are very long like up to 24″, so a handful is a lot of beans. I put them up and green beans, save some for replanting, and the rest now go to store for dry beans. I got my seeds from rareseeds.com

      I like using the Mason Jars but I would probably separate the beans, rice and spices. with varying shelf life it would be a nuisance to have to open your well sealed jar to remove spices, and then again to remove rice. There are the very small glass jars for spices and you can use pint size for beans and rice and have the same pot full and not have to open your beans to replace your spices or rice. I would likely also have some cooked and DH onions, and carrot, and asparagus to add to it, just to name a few. All separated you use what you need to use without having to open your jar.

      On that note, my dogs are part of my farm and are also SAR dogs so insuring the food I put up can feed them too is important for me. Minus the onions of course the soup mix of beans rice and veggies would also feed your dog, albeit, not the perfect meal being meatless, but they would survive.

      Love these articles that cause us to think things out and work it out for what works best for each person and family. I can’t wait to do my first DH cooked dry beans that I grew.

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      Reply to this comment
      • Farmer April 26, 20:58

        I grow those beans as well. They go by “asparagus” or “Asian” beans here. In northern MS where it gets hot I have to pick twice, sometimes 3 times a day to keep ahead of them. The seeds keep well for the next year’s planting. They do love the heat!

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    • mbl April 26, 20:14

      You can also choose to cook the beans, rice, and seasonings, then dehydrate the whole shebang if you have a dehydrator and store until needed.

      This might also be a good thing to consider if you’re still not sure what kind of spices you want or how much. Make a batch, season it to where you like it, and dehydrate the leftovers.

      When you want to rehydrate to eat, add very hot or boiling water for faster rehydration or cooler water and wait a while for things to rehydrate.

      When I rehydrate things, I find it takes 3 or 4 parts water to 1 part dehydrated item. I start with 3 parts and check before adding more.

      If you can vac seal it or store it with O2 absorbers, it’ll last longer.

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      Reply to this comment
      • Fern April 27, 15:37

        O2 absorbers plus vacuum sealing jars helps immensely with regards to shelf life. I intend to utilize this “recipe” to add to my food storage. I have also purchased freeze-dried ingredients to create “meals-in-a-jar” creations that will only require water. I wish I could upload pictures of these. Because of everything being free-dried, the cook time is the same for all ingredients – generally 20-30 minutes. I have done Taco Soup and Stroganoff Skillet. Both are exceptional meals.

        Reply to this comment
      • John April 28, 01:39

        Awesome information. Very valuable. Much appreciated. John

        Reply to this comment
  3. Red Rover April 26, 15:56

    An excellent well prepared and presented article covering the entire gambit from ingredient storage to preparation. Thanks!

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  4. Russ April 26, 16:00

    Thank you

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    Reply to this comment
  5. Umpqua Doc April 26, 17:30

    If you have an “Vacuum Packer” you can make multi-pocket strip bags to hold your spices indefinitely. Simply cut a 2″ strip from bag material,
    1. Seal 1 edge
    2. turn sideways mark number of “Pockets” and seal at each mark
    3 fill with seasonings needed
    4 vacuum seal the open edge
    5. add to quart jar
    There a a lot of uses for that Vacuum Packer and you can make bags for most any item with a little thought.
    I vacuum packed the Pemmican I made earlier this year, just before we lost power to 4 counties for 16 days.
    Sure was a good prep check and actually got easier as time went on and a routine was formed, good experience. 39°F degree weather added to it greatly.
    Enjoy…… Doc

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    Reply to this comment
  6. Hacksaw April 26, 17:43

    Sounds good. Add a little SPAM or other canned meat from the stock pile for protein and fat. Just need to make sure you have a good supply of water, would hate to eat dry soup.

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  7. Jo April 26, 18:48

    Instead of buying all the beans individually to make things to store like that, I use the ’15 bean soup’ package.

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    Reply to this comment
  8. Kit April 26, 19:28

    Good article!Thanks!!! Also – for variety, in the seasoning packets – one could alternate curry, cumin, chili powder, dried pepper flakes, dried Italian seasoning mix, and Creole/Cajun/Old Bay seasoning preparations. Most of these are available at Dollar Tree Stores – so are not very expensive. We store them in their original packaging – then placed in vacuum sealed containers – and use them for our hurricane/emergency pantry. These can add much needed variety and a little zip to an otherwise bland survival staple stored in quantity. In a pinch – if well stored (kept cool and dry) – the spices themselves could be nice bartering commodities too!

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  9. Sawdust April 26, 20:15

    Agree that beans and rice will meet daily survival requirements. I buy my bean soup mix in bulk, 20lbs, at $21/carton from WEBSTAURANT Store. https://www.webstaurantstore.com/search/bean-soup.html Take a look.

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    • Farmer April 26, 21:06

      Have you been looking in my mailbox? Webrestaurantstore.com is a fantastic site for bulk foods and other cooking essentials. Just finished vac bagging 100lbs of various dried beans from them at 1/3 the price of Walmart. Although it’s $99/month for unlimited free shipping, splitting that with neighbors is well worth it to stock up. One word of caution. Their beans come in a cardboard box with no plastic liner. You must repackage them on arrival or risk losing the whole box to bugs.

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      • Farmer April 26, 23:04

        Sorry, I fat fingered the keyboard… the correct website is: webstaurantstore.com … as noted elsewhere in these posts.

        Reply to this comment
      • Don April 27, 22:00

        I have been dealing with them for years. Just always for containers. I NEVER knew that they sold food/beans.

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper May 13, 01:21

          As part of outfitting our new summer kitchen I purchased their Regency 24″ x 48″ 16-Gauge Stainless Steel Commercial Work Table with Under shelf last year for less than $100.00 with free shipping.
          I also did not know they have food but will take a look. The table BTW is wonderful and allows us to work with meats and other foods right on the tabletop with easy cleanup.

          Reply to this comment
  10. Don April 26, 21:07

    Very good idea. I like this and will definitely be adding this to my supplies.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Debbie April 26, 21:16

    Is there a nutritious alternate for the barley? I must eat gluten-free; barley is the only ingredient that is a problem in this great recipe. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
    • Kdonat April 26, 22:34

      How about buckwheat (not actually a wheat), millet, sorghum, quinoa, corn grits (get non GMO), or tapioca (made from cassava root)?

      Reply to this comment
    • Farmer April 26, 22:54

      You don’t really need to add grains to the soup, but if you want to fortify it with grain…. gluten free … try quinoa, millet, oats, sorghum, buckwheat, or amaranth.

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 27, 00:32

      Use quinoa instead of barley..(It’s spelled correctly. I finally found it.) In addition to being a grain, it is a protein substitute. The Incas (I think) used it as the national diet because it contained all the vitamins necessary and protein.

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty April 28, 01:40

        Many brands of quinoa and amaranth need to be thoroughly rinsed before use because the seeds are naturally coated with saponin. Some do not, so check the package directions.
        To cut down prep time on this soup, I would also suggest using canned pre-cooked beans if possible.

        Reply to this comment
  12. Kdonat April 26, 22:26

    If you have a dehydrator, make your own dehydrated beans. Purchase a #10 size can of prepared beans at Walmart or restaurant supply place (like Gordon Food Service). Any type of bean works as they are already cooked. Spread the beans (juice and all) on solid fruit trays and dehydrate until they are crisp.

    If using regular dried beans as in the original recipe, I suggest using the smaller red and white beans/legumes instead kidney/garbanzos as they will take less time to rehydrate and cook. (ex. adzuki, mung, split peas, lentils are all about the same size)

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  13. Proteus April 26, 23:10

    Sorry to nit-pick …. Where it says “#1. Mix all the beans in a large container.” … shows lentils and split green peas in with the other dried beans. Both lentils and split peas take 30 minutes or so to cook. The others …. a lot longer. Maybe it won’t hurt the lentils to cook for 1.5 hours or longer, but why do it? One more separation in the jar might be in order.

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  14. Spike April 27, 00:07

    Best article on this site in a long time. Thanks and keep up with the good comments.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Meathead April 27, 01:32

    For a longer storage time, you might consider adding an oxygen and moisture absorbent pack to each separate unit.
    The oxygen absorbent prevents bugs and the moisture absorbent prevents spoilage.
    I put my beans, rice, flour, cornmeal in 1/2 gallon containers with one absorbent packet of each and one gallon containers with two of each. I place them in the bottom to make it easier to remove the contents.

    Reply to this comment
  16. IvyMike April 27, 18:42

    It’s really neat how these simple but excellent articles can make you rethink things. I was a Vegetarian for a couple years in college, I knew about the idea of complimentary proteins but it just meant eating grains and legumes, which you were going to do anyway. Then the idea was locked into my brain during an Anthropology course by a debate between the professor, who was a world class anthropologist, and the pre-med students in the room. Doctors, of course, were and still are mostly of the opinion a vegetarian diet couldn’t furnish the complete protein that meat supplies in the diet. The Prof’s view was that human’s had survived on grains and legumes with limited meat throughout history. The pre Docs said, impossible, and the argument escalated, the Prof won because he knew the names of the 21 amino acids essential to a healthy diet and what foods were able to supply which ones, and named them off one by one. He was one of the smartest guys on the planet, so I never questioned what I learned that day, until I read this little askaprepper article. Now, poking around the internet I find Vegans have disproved the theory of complimentary proteins. However, they seem to list only 8 amino acids as necessary, instead of 21. So both the question and answer have changed, and the way the world is today I don’t know if I can ever find the truth of the matter. I do know, however, that corn and beans and rice and beans love each other and that I just planted Mandan corn and a big patch of Haricot beans, which makes everything okay.

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 28, 01:55

      You might want to add squash to your garden ( if you like it). The “three sisters” formed the basis for the diet of many native American nations and have been staples in the kitchens of North and South Americans for generations.
      The traditional way of planting the three was to put them together in “mound” planting.
      The corn stalks would provide a support for the bean vines to climb, and the bean leaves would shade the squash vines, which covered the ground and helped retain moisture and protected the roots of the corn from getting uprooted in a high wind.

      Reply to this comment
      • red April 29, 01:26

        Ah, but what variety of maize? Most corn today has a stalk too soft to handle beans. 3 Sisters is something whites named, not Native Americans. 30 sisters, maybe. every weed hath its use, if only as mulch. Centuries ago, someone commented the Native Americans came out in anger because whites had ridden horses thru their fields, thinking them meadows. That, Miss Kitty, is a great basis for a hidden garden. A field filled with wild, useful plants. That’s still traditional farming, then allowing in livestock or wildlife for the winter. niio

        Reply to this comment
      • red April 29, 03:13

        Most people today accept that, thinking those 3 plants were more important than local plants. No es nada, as folks say. Here, mesquite is the tree of life, and was more important than maize, beans, and squash. In the East, other things. West coast, the white oak.

        We always used a pinch of wood ashes, or ashes from bean plants to flavor food. Just a pinch! And, the wood has to be from a good tree, not a toxic one like yew or any in the laurel family.

        Hidden gardens are great. One big thing about them is so much is used today as ornamental. Canna lily, which spread farther than maize or beans did, amaranth, Indian Rice grass or, if you live in a wet area, red rice in a garden pond. American lotus are good, as well, in that sort of area, and the carp are good when smoked. We have 3 kinds of cactus, all common in xeric flower gardens. Sweet potatoes. wild beans, wild chilis, red purslane, and soon, wolfberries, a relative of goji, but considered an ornamental. Nasturtiums are great salad greens, which is why people raised them. Red runner beans are a flower, but a food, and make a nice potato-like root. There’s more, a lot more, but those are the basics. Rosemary (used to stop food poisoning), thyme, and Mexican tarragon are all ‘flowers’ so far as some of the neighbors are concerned. Cilantro is, as well, but the leaves and seeds are good herbs. In veggie patches, when one thing matures and comes out, something else goes in ASAP. Fig trees have a nasty defense, the sap, so someone climbing it isn’t going to stay. The yucca have needles on the tips and the roots are used for soap and food, the fibers for coarse clothing, and burlap. The aloe is all eatable, as well, but not the skins, which are great for healing skin. Wild tobacco, wivian, is nice, but there are more ‘ornamental’ types, like jasmine for wetter areas. I had a mishap. The dog came down with a stomach virus, and somehow I picked it up. Yes, I was careful, but it happens. Nothing worked till I ate some tobacco, then, after a night of bad, it was gone.

        Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 28, 23:17

      MIKE: I certainly agree. Butter is bad for you. Eat margarine which is better. Oops! Wong advice. Eat butter. Margarine has nasty chemicals in it worse than butter.

      Don’t eat eggs. They have really high cholesterol and will plug the plumbing in your heart solid. Oops! Eggs are a complete food. You should eat a hard boiled egg if you want a mid-afternoon snack. An egg a day is great.

      Don’t drink milk. It is loaded with fat and will plug your arteries. Oops! Milk is a well rounded food which provides most of your daily needs of vitamins and minerals and is rich in vitamin D which you need for strong bones.

      The list goes on. It gets worse with pharmaceuticals. Take estrogen therapy for post-menopausal bone loss. Oops! don’t take estrogen therapy. Take phosphorous therapy. Oops! It’s okay, but makes your jaw rot away and your teeth fall out but other than that, it make the other bones strong. And so on ad nauseam.

      I’d pull my hair out but it is just a little too sparse for that kind of mistreatment.

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      • red April 29, 01:52

        bad boy 🙂 Hey, I went vegetarian for a while and wound up in the hospital 4 times, thanks to it. Allergies went haywire, led to bad arthritis, bad many things, and I gained a ton of weight. Not to mention a serious gas problem… 🙂 niio

        Reply to this comment
        • David Godfrey Lawn May 4, 13:33

          Hi Red vegetarian is ok for me but i have to look all the time at my ailments – i’m old – and use my spirit to deal with them. So i am never ill – i just have ailments like pain or leg trouble which i work on so it goes away.
          in fact my ailments talk to me about things that caused them … 🙂 and so are a useful part of my life.
          i understand Jesus to have said you should research what happened to you back to birth (Nickodemus).
          i dont find one needs any non-veg.
          *
          i am much impressed by your garden/growing/plant knowledge and would like to learn from you.
          Will you write an article ?
          best wishes
          david godfrey lawn

          Reply to this comment
          • red May 9, 16:47

            If vegetarian works for you, then by all means, run with it. For me, it made everything far worse. Same in all the family. Be warned, soy has toxins in it that cannot be removed. Right now the USDA is telling farmers do not feed it to breeding stock because it causes too many health issues (I wasn’t using soy). Asian friends told me men should not eat much soy because they know what it does. Wheat is another thing we’re warned of. Modern wheat was bred for high gluten content. Even groups who normally never had a problem are experiencing everything from acne to diabetes.

            For arthritis and so on, I use Korean acupressure. But, first, always, spiritual. Touch the area and say “In the Name of Jesus, I cast you back on the one who set this on me and bind it there, broken.” Act like you’re grabbing it out of you and throw it out a window. It’s wild, sounds crazy, but works; even if only because the mind sees it as working. But, I had a severe string of ‘bad luck’ and was told to cast it back on the one who caused it. OK, and? It took a while, 10 days or so, but the bad luck stopped and a little while after that, my stepdaughter told me her mother, who is a Nazi and hates Christians, had to have pen heart surgery. I do not curse people!

            My stepdaughter has a very bad problem with calcification in soft organs. There are other things, as well, but when living in NYC, she went halal and kosher, that means all organic everything and it stopped. Same when I visited her, often staying for a week while working down there. She was organic and I was raised that way by old-time farmers, people who hated chemicals. Allergies, arthritis and so on all gone. I could have some dairy and fresh, homemade bread! Return home and it would start again.

            I have some things written about hidden gardens and so on done for another site, but they didn’t publish and now are gone. A good site, very strong, and missed. Who do I send it to? I’m a lousy shot and never cared for guns (Dad’s Garand though, wow! 🙂 I used to bow hunt but arthritis stopped that. I have a Tarahumara manzanita wood bow, a yew (parting gift from a brother-in-law who’s ancestor brought it from England), and a straight 25# fiberglass from when I was a preteen (it’s fifty years old and still works great).

            Remember the wisdom of God (George Burns, in Oh, God): “How old were Adam and Eve,” he was asked, “when You created them?” ‘God’ looked up in thought with that long black cigar in hand and said, “17. It’s the perfect age to be. You’re still living at home. You’re working like a dog but it’s you money to spend like you want. Your parents are feeding you, paying the bills, and probably paying on the car and insurance. All you medical care is taken care of. 17 is the perfect age to be.” I’m only 17 (and holding 🙂 for quite a few decades. Learn that attitude. Years ago, maybe a little cocky, I asked God to show me how mature I was in His eyes. After all, I was growing fast, learning, and even teaching. I dreamed of a little kid, about 6, walking along a beach holding hands with two big men and being urged along by someone behind me. I said, that’s it? Yep. All we are and ever will be is little, much loved children to God. Stay young, always. Old and wise, yes. But in the heart forever young. niio

            Reply to this comment
  17. red April 27, 19:34

    My taste buds are already waiting 🙂 Instead of rice, we’re growing Indian rice grass, a native and a rice, but it likes the dryness of Arizona. Beans tend to dry out over a year or two, and all legumes are subject to insect infestation. I’d rather keep it in 5 gallon buckets with a sealed lid, and add dry ice to kill the bugs. Something traditional Native Americans still do, the sopa seca. Leftovers are dehydrated and can be soaked and heated. I need to get my wrinkled old butt in gear and get the solar dehydrator built. With that, it’s a snap to dehydrate veggies, meat, and cooked food. No electric, just ask God to turn on the solar heating unit 🙂 Add to that, if I get it right, it can be used as a slow cooker, niio

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 29, 02:37

      Hi Red! Sorry about the erroneous info in my post on the 3 sisters, etc. 😳 When I goof, I goof, and like many others I was taught that story in school (many years ago, to be sure!).
      Your point about the “hidden gardens” is an excellent one, especially in the light of potentially having to hide your preps from nosy neighbors, marauders, the HOA watchdogs, etc. Using native/naturalized “wild” plants is a great way to diversify your crops and your diet. Thanks again.

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      • red April 30, 04:48

        Your last post is great. Native American hidden gardens are easy today. Much of the stuff is now under ornamental or as weeds. Nasturtiums, canna lilies, dalias a relative of yacon, (roots were eaten, donno about the ‘flowery’ types today), sun-chokes and so on. Here, a lawn is optional, so Indian Rice Grass (a native desert variety of wild rice) will look good, If I can keep the doves off it…Of course, poaching is illegal, cough! 🙂 Safflower looks good, as well, a nice flower but the seeds are high in oil. Chia is coming on well. Garbanzo beans, which are ‘fern-like’ with flowers are at about the end of their season. One scarlet runner bean survived winter, but where they’re from, they do get some snow and frost, they’re a perennial. We also got a lot of compliments on ‘those pretty flowers growing on the ocotillos (Yori Cahui cowpeas). and the pretty flowers blooming on the fence all winter (Tohono green peas). Chinese celery, mariposa lily. Ajo lily. The list is endless. Look up JL Hudson seedsman and others for Native American plants. Survive in style! niio

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  18. Chris F. April 28, 01:00

    Good gads, I sure want to be as positive as everyone else here since this is almost exactly the kind of soup we ourselves eat each week in my household (1 cup our own beans and grains mix cooked in 1 quart liquid = 4 servings)… indeed, a soup like this can be *part* of a healthy meal… but in the end, it just doesn’t stack up to be particularly nutritious meal by itself at all. Yes, it hits the general ballpark on several popular macronutrient core targets as far as protein, carbohydrates, and calories are concerned, but to use any simplified list of major macronutrients as some kind of a formula for long term survival can be a potentially deadly mistake. This is what worries me the most about so many of my fellow preppers, the obsession that beans + rice = a complete protein, at the expense of looking much harder at what constitutes a nutrient-dense complete meal — and planning (prepping!) to have the necessary items on hand.

    While I don’t want to cause an uproar, the fact is that this soup is almost completely devoid of calcium, potassium, Vitamins A, B12, and C, and many other trace micronutrients that everyone needs to stay alive and healthy over a period of time. Too many days of relying on grains and legumes *will* have an impact on your health and mental clarity, particularly in times of extreme stress.

    This is sounding overly negative however… so let me try to show how to combine other common prepper foods into a more meal that will make this soup really shine. First step: soak the combination of beans and grains (leaving the rice out) overnight to help get rid of the naturally occurring phytic acid, which prevents your body from fully absorbing the precious magnesium contained in the beans mixture (as well as other trace minerals). It’s a simple step, but be sure not to consume the phytic-acid laced soaking water in your soup recipe. (Wash the floor, your hands, or your hair with that grey water if you’re trying to conserve water, but that’s the subject of an entire article).

    Second step: ditch the dreaded broth cubes, which only add chemicals and toxins rather than any nutrition at all, and replace it with real broth that you made yourself for adding protein, collagen, Vitamin B12, and other trace nutrients that will make your gut very happy. Instead of adding trace poisons you’ll be adding trace nutrients that really add up via the real wholesome broth. This Ask a Prepper website includes the article “How to Make Portable Soup” that shows how you can make and store your homemade broth for the long term, or if you’re short on time with a lot of excuses for not doing so from scratch then consider buying “More Than Gourmet” brand broth concentrates (it’s the only brand I’ve found with a 2+ year shelf life and no chemicals or preservatives, just plain food ingredients).

    Third step: just as author KJ advocates although as an option, it really is essential to add just a little bit of meat to fill out the Vitamin B12 minimally required profile while also adding a bit of fat. There’s really no way around it, one’s body under extreme stress absolutely requires these core nutrients on a daily basis if optimal “fighting condition” health is a goal. Summer beef sausage that is often seen on unrefrigerated shelves in the supermarket can last a year with proper storage, ditto for dry-cured Italian salami or Spanish-style chorizo, as well as some top-quality canned meats. Freeze-dried meats also fit the bill and are the easiest of all to manage, although additional healthy fats should be added when they are used in a meal.

    Fourth step: so far all of the above have added close to zero calcium, which is needed not just for bones and teeth but also for the heart and proper muscle functioning. Just one ounce of hard parmesan cheese shaved off the block— which can be preserved without refrigeration with proper handling — can float on top of this Survival Soup for an instant blast of salty unami to deliver precious calcium as well as Vitamin K2. (Caution: do not use

    Fifth step: fix the utter lack of potassium plus Vitamins A and C in all of the above solutions by drinking a can of V8 with your Survival Soup. This is not a perfect solution but it’s absolutely impossible to fit 10 cups of fresh vegetables per person per day into the pantry, therefore we’ve resorted to drinking two cans of V8 daily over here. If you hate V8 then take a couple of sips daily for a month while your taste buds adjust (and yes, in almost all cases they will eventually adjust). If you REALLY hate V8 then try adding a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, another few drops of Tobasco sauce, some freshly ground pepper (these are all ingredients from your pantry) and subsequently pretend that your doctored V8 is actually a wonderful Bloody Mary — this certainly worked for my husband Gordon, who previously wasn’t a fan of V8 at first. Of course if you still want to throw up over the thought of drinking a V8 then you might try downing a plain double-vodka shooter all at once first and then drinking the entire doctored can of V8 immediately afterwards, while we haven’t tried this method ourselves it should thoroughly fry your brain so that drinking anything immediately afterwards won’t be noticed. Yeah, there’s the problem of eventually frying your liver at the same time, but over a period of days one might phase out the vodka shooter entirely after just learning to drink the can of V8 without major complaints. Yes, it’s that important, to find a way of getting adequate amounts of potassium plus Vitamins A and C.

    Sixth step: add a small tiny dish of raw almonds or other nuts to follow your meal, just 10 or so individual raw almonds will do, to end balance your Survival Soup meal with some Vitamin E. Most guys figure that Vitamin E is all about intensely private subjects that won’t be covered here (actually Vitamin A is at least equally important in that department), but the fact is your heart also counts on precious Vitamin E to function properly. Tree nuts are the traditional way of adding this important nutrient into the diet.

    Seventh and final step: it takes just a few days to successfully sprout an extra tablespoon of the same lentils used in this Survival Soup into little microgreens that are filled with enzymes, Vitamin C, and other life-sustaining nutrients unavailable elsewhere on this limited meal menu. Enzymes and all the other beneficial nutrients offered by sprouts or micro-greens are almost never mentioned anywhere in prepper nutrition strategies, but they are a cheap and easy way to fill in many forgotten gaps. They add a little crunch, help enormously with digestion, and are easy to integrate into any meal. I’ve successfully harvested sprouts from lentils stored years before using a nylon knee-high stocking, each 1/4 cup of even old dried lentils yields enough to last a person a daily cup of fresh sprouts for an entire week!

    So these are my own very personal thoughts on the Survival Soup recipe offered here: it’s a variation of what we eat weekly here at my house, and it’s an excellent *part* of a healthy meal (which is why we keep eating it regularly). That said, it’s still not a nutritious complete meal all by itself for long term survival. Preppers, rise to the challenge, realize that even small quantities of meats, cheeses, fish, fats, nuts, and other staples are critical for making the core bulk beans-n-rice programs work out for the maintenance of your bodies over the long term!

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    • Miss Kitty April 29, 02:46

      There was an article on Ask a Prepper a while ago on how to make dried soup stock that you might want to look at if you missed it when it was posted. Basically you simmer the stock until it’s reduced to a thick gel and then dehydrate it into a hard, gluey substance for long term use. If you make your own bone broth, this might be a good addition to any soup you make, and it would also address the calcium deficiency in the bean soup in this post.

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  19. Dog Trainer April 28, 02:46

    Great info and fun suggestions. I still love the raw basics of the beans/grain/rice mix. I don’t imagine anyone feels like that would be totally adequate long term so having canned or dried meat, along with canned or dried veggies rounds out the nutrients better. Adding in some oil or ghee for fats, and personal spices increases how pleasant and well rounded it will be.

    Many can add things from their garden a lot of the year to the basic mix as well. But I always dehydrate a decent amount of veggies. My winter squashes store for on average ten months. I have about 25% that will store for a year+. I always have winter squashes or pumpkin available to me all year long, and I typically have new ones coming in and many from the previous year to still use. Took me years of developing those plants from saved seeds.

    We each surely have our personal tastes to what is important to save and add to it considering what we have the ability to do and the money to spend. I am a light prepper compared to some, but I have dogs so storing for them is more of a challenge.

    The great thing here is we are all talking about it and sharing ideas. Great community, thanks to KJ to spark the fun.

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    • red April 29, 01:31

      Did you ever grow chilacayote squash? It was developed in Mexico by Native Americans to be extra sweet and long storage. It’s so good, stored, it was carried on Black Ships from Mexico around the world for fresh food. In Asia, they call it 7 Year Melon. The longer it stores, like most squash, the sweeter it gets. Main use is pie and candy. niio

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  20. tony April 28, 22:09

    + lots to Chris F. for “complete” – ing the nutritional mix. For the original recipe, garbonzos/cannelinis will need 2-3 hours to cook past the crunch, or a significant soak prior to cooking. Not a “one and done” recipe, but pretty darn close. thanks for a great article.

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    • red April 29, 01:47

      the ‘crunch’ in garbanzos is half the fun. Beans in general, we soak them 2-3 days, till they start to sprout. This adds to the protein levels and vitamins, it also helps digestibility. One warning, any grain can carry aflatoxins. Soaking the grain can help them to grow. One capful of bleach per gallon of water for the first soak. 12 hours later, drain and rinse, then soak overnight. Watcher should be changed several times over the 2-3 day soak, allowing it to drain out and the seeds to breathe. When cooking, it should take less than 45 minutes to make them tender. We don’t do this with garbanzos (a long soak) because I heard they develop tannin when sprouting. Ditto cowpeas. We also like bean flour, usually made of pintos and garbanzos. a little starch in the flour and it makes good noodles. Starch, when possible, comes from canna lily roots, which were used for that for thousands of years. niio

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  21. Spike April 29, 14:59

    Preppers make it sound so complicated having so many different kinds of foods etc. I’m not doubting this but I really doubt all the pioneers ate a balanced diet, especially during the winter months. Many of them didn’t go to town to trade or buy supplies very often. How did they survive? Most of them had a cow to milk but today’s Homeopathics try to tell us Dairy is bad for us. Please give feed back.

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    • Dog Trainer April 29, 17:03

      They for sure had a simpler diet due to logistics in many areas of our country. But also those in more rural areas had much less life expectancy due to poor health including teeth. We in the US just don’t have that as much now (with some exceptions) like they do in third world countries, which might could be compared to old west rural areas.

      I think early on I did not prep because it sounded complicated, but as I worked it out I simplified it to work for me by putting up what I grow for the most part, and bringing in a certain amount of quality organic canned meats. So I saved on putting up my veggies, and paid more for quality canned meats, so it balanced out. It grew from there as I got my routine and balance. But we all have to find that out, but the bean and rice mix is a good place to start only, not the only thing you do though. But each person has to find their starting place. Mine was when I got my first little Ronco dehydrator… now I have an Excalibur. But I started somewhere that allowed me to see where I wanted to go. All they had in rural areas for certain part of our history was the sun. Of course that is all powerful if you have the know how to use it.

      Anyway… mostly here in this type of site and comments are ideas and ways for people to find their own way. It can be as simple or as complicated as you like depending on your time and budget. But prepping is fun when you go about it with a positive outlook and start slow where you can. If you try to start too fast you make big stressful mistakes that can be costly and can cause you to quit. Find you in all this and do you.

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      • tony April 29, 18:57

        > Dog Trainer. That is such a powerful message. Thank you for the wisdom. Wish I had those thought a while ago.

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    • red April 30, 03:30

      Spike, In the old days, people dried off (made her stop giving milk) when the cow could no longer find pasture to graze. Most milked her for 6 months, then stopped. Eggs, same, most chickens till modern feeding methods came along would lay about 150 eggs a year. Anything you couldn’t store raw was dried or pickled, ham, bacon, corned beef, fruit and vegetables. There is still no better balanced diet than fresh meat and fermented vegetables. Beer was a food, made of sprouts. Fermented anything enhances all vitamins and raises the protein level. There were whole families during the Depression that had nothing but sauerkraut to live on in winter and stayed healthy. Not in the best shape, but they survived. No vitamin deficiencies that I know of, but they lacked iron.

      Pioneers ate like Native Americans, hunting and gathering wild foods. Native Americans liked their beer and those who couldn’t raise grain traded for it or used a substitute. Fruits were either cooked until thick and dried for preserves, or crushed and fermented into wine. Wine and beer could be set out in winter to freeze the water and the old folks made merry on it, a brandy. niio

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    • Miss Kitty April 30, 03:59

      Early pioneers didn’t have much in the way of variety, for sure, unless they packed in dried or preserved goods to supplement their basic stores. Sometimes they would be able to trade for goods with locals, but they would be on their own until their crops began to come in. After the Transcontinental railroad was completed, goods would be much more readily available, even in remote areas, and boy, were the settlers happy!
      I forgot who else said it in this thread, but as far as preps, pick stuff you like. If you want to try making say, baked beans from scratch, try it some long weekend. It’s fun trying new recipes, and you’ll have a chance to tweak it as needed. But don’t limit yourself to stuff you don’t want just because it was presented in an article, get stuff you will actually eat and enjoy. Canned food is a great alternative to dried because it is already cooked, bugs can’t get into it, and it lasts a long time. The only drawback is that for some items it’s more expensive, and cans take up a fair amount of room. And they’re heavy.
      The easiest way to build your reserves is to take $5-$10 each time you go to the store and buy preps with it. Try to get at least two balanced meals worth of stuff – a can of beef stew, a can of ravioli and two veg will give you two dinners. (Maybe three if you pad the stew with rice, but you need to be able to keep it cold or you could get food poisoning. )
      If you do this over a period of time, you can have a good reserve built up . Work the sales, too. And after a few months, start rotating out your stock.
      Don’t over think things…. prepping is different for everyone, and everyone has different priorities and scenarios that concern them.
      Good luck! 😉

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  22. David Godfrey Lawn May 4, 14:39

    Bean and Rice Survival Soup
    Dear KJBarber
    thank you. So I can properly prepare food for a long-term fallout. I am much impressed and shall do it. And the very high quality comments from readers who obviously know a lot are so valuable – I’d like to get up to somewhere near their level 🙂
    I’d like to be a bit useful, too, and add in my bit:
    1. i’d like to get the knowledge and use of plants – like for example Red knows them – but all of you too – put in european terms because i am in europe. Maybe i can help that such good and effective and cheap preparedness be possible. I am just starting to recognise the seriousness of all this and how neccessary it is. I do have the impression that those who apparently “run” this place would much like to increase the chaos, and the number of deaths, so preparedness should help.
    2. There have been some comments about being vegetarian. Most of my life i wasnt. Then it seemed neccessary – my body and conciousness seemed to require it – and for the last few decades I am vegetarian. My guideline has been something like my understanding of words of Jesus, like as he spoke with Nicodemus, I understand him to say one should remember back to birth. I am constantly seeking, asking myself what i am, what happened to me.
    I know that i was something of a sex slave and managed to get away but my concious has access to only a part of all that.
    Sex slaves have a life expectancy of 7 years and i am 79 so I was able to escape. So if people break your back as a young person for sex, then if you push that away, in order to survive, and then, after you have survived, keep pushing it away and dont go for access to it, then you have lots of ailments. I see that. I find if I still cannot go back as I understand Jesus to say, then at least i can work on all my ailments and try to access them and de-tension them.
    3. So my one cent here might be to trust ones own conciousness and not be afraid of being afraid – God has this place put on foundation stones you can’t ignore. if you do access parts of your unconcious you see the difference between heaven and hell and that both are very present, and can deal with that.
    With love and best wishes

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