Rustic Camp Fire Soup

Last year, over one of the two April long weekends we enjoy in South Africa, we camped at Highover, a small camp site in the Hella Hella Valley on the banks of the Umkomaas River.  It is one of my favourite places, still very wild, and without power, so one gets a feel of old Africa (but without having to drive for days).  Highover is about an hour away from our home.
Camping under an enormous wild fig tree, with the river in front and the mountain behind, means that it gets very cold early in the day, and by lunch time we were already making a huge fire.  I started thinking about how delicious a bowl of soup would be, and then gathered ingredients, filled a kettle and a pot with water and put them on the fire, and made a pot of flavourful fresh vegetable soup.

The recipe works just as well cooked on a stove-top, but the added smokiness that comes from cooking it on a fire is delicious.

Rustic Vegetable Soup (cooked on a fire)


1 large onion

4 rashers of bacon, thinly sliced

1/2 butternut (confession – I did use a ready peeled & cleaned packet)

8 baby marrows

1 small cauliflower

2 large potatoes

3 carrots

3 cloves garlic

6 mushrooms, sliced

3 heaped tsps chicken stock powder, dissolved in some boiling water

Kettleful of boiling water

1 glass of white wine

Salt & freshly ground pepper


  • Chop all the vegetables quite finely – this is a rustic soup, and there’s no blender when camping!  
  • Heat a little butter in a cast iron pot over small flames
  • Fry the onion, bacon and garlic for a few minutes
  • Add the mushrooms, stir through, then add the rest of the vegetables
  • Stir thoroughly to mix, then add the chicken stock and enough boiling water to cover the vegetables
  • Keep the fire burning gently, sit back and have a glass of wine, and enjoy the fire while the soup cooks
  • Top up the soup pot as the liquid cooks away
  • Check the soup for seasoning and add a glass of white wine (for a little acidity – delicious!)
  • Mash the vegetables in the soup with a wooden spoon, to get a lovely texture
  • Serve under the trees, and enjoy while sitting around the fire
  • Enjoy with a freshly baked bread.

 The experience of sitting in front of a roaring fire, with a bowl of hot soup while camping was great, and I often make soup now when we camp in the colder months. 

We baked a loaf of seed bread on the fire while this was cooking (you can see my little bread pot in one of the photos), if you don’t have a good bread recipe, try this one:  Brown Seed Loaf.

You may also enjoy this campfire soup:  Red Lentil Soup

Oh, how I need to go camping….which we will be doing in 10 days time!  YAY!


10 responses to “Rustic Camp Fire Soup

  1. I could nearly go camping if served this soup! Have fun on your next trip 🙂


  2. I bet the lovely smokey flavours made a huge difference…looks such a delicious bowl of soup!


  3. Ooh my goodness this looks so nice – and nothing wrong with using ready prepared butternut! Enjoy your day xxx


  4. I really don’t like camping, yet you manage to make it sound attractive 🙂


  5. It’s really incredible what you produce on an open fire!


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