Trail Casserole with Couscous

The picture accompanying this recipe is taken in the Scottish Highlands were we once went on a hike. It was marvellous. We started out walking in our t-shirts in the sunshine, hiked for a couple of hours, found a perfect camping spot, just by a little stream, high up in the mountains where we had breathtaking views and I made this excellent casserole with couscous which we enjoyed whilst the sun was setting. This was the perfect day, with the perfect trail meal, warming and filling. However...they day after we had some serious trouble getting back. The rain had poured down ALL night and the little, cute stream was by now a roaring, thunderous river. If we had crossed it the day before, like we considered we would probably still be there. Fortunately we are experienced hikers and are used to some dramatic weather changes in Iceland (which is famous for the 5-5-5-5- weather.... that is...sunshine for 5 minutes-rain for 5 minutes-hale for 5 minutes-snow for 5 minutes within a space of 20 minutes). We were very well prepared and luckily our tent was dry and our clothes as well. We ate our breakfast that morning (home made muesli) and waited for the rain to stop..which it didn't but thankfully we got back in the end and were so tired we decided to stay at a bed and breakfast in a nice, cosy bed. We didn't even feel guilty...just happy and dry.

A fairly substantial meal, perfect for a chilly evening after hiking

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

Trail Casserole with Couscous

Serves 2 hungry hikers


  • 2 packs tomato soup (bought from a health food store) to make 1 litre (34 fluid oz) of soup
  • 100-200 grams (3½-7 oz) couscous (200 grams will yield a fairly thick soup)
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • Pinch dried parsley
  • 1 litre (34 fluid oz) cold water


  • Before you head out into the wilderness, combine these ingredients in a plastic bag or a box: ingredients of 2 packs organic tomato soup, parsley and pinch of salt and pepper. Add other herbs if desired.
  • When you have arrived at your destination: Stir the soup into the 1 litre cold water (or as directed on the packet) until it is completely smooth.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add the 100-200 grams couscous and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve immediately with some roasted chapati bread or any other bread.


  • You can use carrot, mushroom or potato soup instead of the tomato soup.
  • Just be sure you have sufficient propane/fuel for the remainder of the trip.
  • You can add whatever you wish into this soup base. You can add dried peppers, dried sweetcorn, dried and minced soy meat and more.
  • You can also add more spices and even try to find some wild herbs if you are feeling adventurous. Just watch out for those poisonous ones!
  • You can also use noodles if you prefer like soba,- udon,- or egg noodles. I prefer rice noodles because they are light weight and take short time to cook (saving propane/fuel) although couscous is extremely quick to cook as well.
  • If you have carnivores on your trip you can prepare the soup base and add slices of meat into the saucepan when the vegetarians have been served.
  • Keep the lid on at all times when cooking outside since otherwise you will waste valuable propane/fuel.
  • Keep the stove away from wind. If the wind is blowing (as it does continuously in Iceland) create a make shift shelter for the stove out of rocks, pieces of wood or whatever other materials you can find.