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Campfire Italian Garden Vegetable Soup: National Canned Food Month

I am so excited to announce that I have been chosen as one of only twelve “Cambassador” bloggers to work with CansGetYouCooking on a series of recipe posts featuring canned food.  Since February is National Canned Food month I am kicking off the series today!  I have been compensated for these posts, but all the recipes, ideas and opinions are, as always, solely mine.  You can find my policy on sponsored posts here
Campfire chicken soup
I know it is isn’t for everyone, but I am one of those people who actually enjoys camping.   Now, sure my family and I aren’t hard core ‘roughing it’ people, but we do use tents, and sleep on the ground and cook our meals on the campfire. I guess you would call us “car campers.”   It is always fun to take the kids to the lake or hiking in the mountains and spend the evenings around the fire roasting marshmallows and telling stories. Everything seems like such an adventure. 

Jj and fish
But one of the toughest parts about camping is figure out what to eat and keeping everything safe when you are without refrigeration.  Once you get past the basic “weenies on a stick” and “burgers over the grill” it can get more tricky.  Especially if you are staying at a campsite without any running water.   Canned foods are the perfect solution for campfire meals.  Cans offer a large variety of convenient, nutritious, inexpensive, and readily available choices, all year round.  They are portable and self-contained, which makes them a great addition to the camp box.

This recipe for Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup (which was passed on to me by dear friend Kathe, orginally from Del Monte) is also a perfect example of how you can create a homemade meal over a campfire, without the need for any preparation or even running water!  You LITERALLY open 7 cans and heat.  It is that easy.   

Canned soup veggies

Campfire Italian Garden Vegetable Soup:

2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) Chicken Broth
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano  (I used Del Monte)
1 can (15 1/4 oz) Whole Kernel Sweet corn, drained (I used Del Monte)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Peas & Carrots, drained (I used S&W)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Green Beans, drained (I used Green Giant)
1 can (10 oz) canned chicken breast, drained (I used Hormel)
(If you are controlling sodium in your diet, all of these ingredients are also available in low sodium versions) 

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan (when camping I use the camp stockpot). Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes or until heated through.  

Chicken vegetable soup copy
See!?! I told you it was super easy! Camping soup
To “fancy” it up (when I am making it at home) I added a little grated parmesan cheese to the top.  It is really good!  And because all the vegetables are familiar, I don’t get any complaints from the kids.  Even the baby enjoys it!Chicken vegetable soup

BUT WAIT! There's more...  
Canned foods aren't only for camping!  We use a lot of canned food at home for the same reasons I stated above. They are long lasting, come in a large variety, and inexpensive and readily available.  Buying cans is a great way to stock the pantry (or “Cantry”) to always have something on hand.  

Remember when I lived on $20 a week for a month?  One of reasons that was possible was because of my huge stockpile of cans:
Even when you have your first few meals planned out every week, by Thursday or Friday you can find yourself running out of steam.  Instead of calling for take-out, the next easiest thing is to turn to your Cantry and whip up something that is actually homemade, but is also fast and easy.  

If you are thinking to yourself "yeah.. but how exciting can a meal of canned food really be?" I am going to help change your mind, and it is directly related to another passion of mine: REALITY TV.  If you need inspiration on how to make canned foods work in your mean plan, you need to tune into the Cooking Channel, or more specifically, their new 30-minute special:Cans Make the MealI totally watched Kelsey back when she was on Next Food Network Star (I told you reality TV was my passion) and now she stars on an Emmy nominated show, has written a cookbook, has her own specials.. the whole nine yards!  Crazy!  (And to think.. "I knew her when...")

In this TV special she is sharing her canned food recipes and tips for stocking her “Cantry.”  It should be fun to watch.  "
Cans Make The Meal" airs at the following times on the Cooking Channel: 
  • February 14, 2015 10:00 AM EST
  • February 15, 2015 10:00 AM EST
  • February 22, 2015 10:00 AM EST
  • February 28, 2015 10:00AM EST
Kelsey Nixon will also be judging Cans Get You Cooking’s Cantry Cook-Off Recipe Contest where someone will win $5000! To enter you’re recipe must include at least two canned food items.  You can submit your recipe an a photo of the dish (by March 31, 2015) to the Cooking Channel (Even I’m eligible to enter my soup recipe so the competition will be fierce!  Hahaha!) 

   Your newest Cans Make The Meal Canbassador!!  Whoot Whoot!!
Find the campaign on Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / YouTube
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