Editors' Choice 2009: PackIt Gourmet Austintacious Tortilla Soup (Cooking) (Editors' Choice) (Recipes)

Put this meal on the menu for any trip: It's easy-prep trail food that will wow every palate.

Sure, everything tastes better in camp. So we tried this dehydrated meal at home, too, just to confirm our field findings: It is delicious. The soup is the perfect appetizer for hungry troops, a satisfying belly warmer in cold weather, and substantial enough to pass for dinner when only a light meal is needed. Plus, it takes only 10 minutes to prepare. Ingredients are simple: chicken breast, red peppers, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, spices, and rice. But the result is gourmet.

“It tastes like it’s been simmering in the kitchen all day,” summed up one satisfied tester. Serving size is legit for two hungry guys, and it comes with toppings that make it easy to customize according to taste: freeze-dried Monterey jack, tortilla chips, Tabasco sauce, and lime juice. Demerit: The packaging seems excessive, though you can reuse the tough plastic bags and decline the optional (free) Tool Kit, which includes salt and pepper packets, wet wipes, and other single-use paper products. $8.50, serves 2; packitgourmet.com

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