While making a true gumbo on the campfire is more work than I’d like to do while camping, (who wants to stir flour and oil for a half hour while out in the woods?) this is a close approximation. Cornstarch fills in for the thickening agent that is normally fulfilled by the roux. The recipe requires a lot of spices and herbs but don’t worry if you don’t have them all. It is so packed with flavor that leaving an ingredient or two out will still result in a tasty soup.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

Tools Needed:

Pot for two


  • 1 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried celery
  • 2 tablespoons dried bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon dried okra or green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon file powder
  • red pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce powder or tomato powder
  • 1/4 cup dried chicken
  • 1/4 cup dried sausage
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a separate container


Add all ingredients to your lightweight container of choice keeping the cornstarch separate. Once at your campsite, mix the contents of the bag with enough water to cover all the ingredients with about an inch of water. Then simmer over your heat source until everything is rehydrated, adding water if needed. Once rehydrated you will need to use the cornstarch to thicken the soup. In a separate container, a cup would work well, mix the cornstarch with a bit of water to make a smooth paste. Once it is smooth, slowly add water until it is the consistency of milk. While stirring your soup briskly, slowly pour the cornstarch water into the soup until it reaches the desired thickness. You most likely won’t use it all.

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