The quickest, easiest way to make a hot meal without a kitchen

So what is the quickest, easiest way to get a hot meal without a kitchen?

You guessed it! It’s cooking with your kettle. Or whatever source of boiling water you have at your disposal.

When I told my Irishman I’d had this great idea about cooking with our kettle, I got a funny look.

‘You’re what?’

After reassuring him that I wasn’t going to actually put anything in the kettle except for water. And that his Barry’s tea would still taste exactly the same. He looked a little more interested. But not exactly excited.

Now, I’m happy to report that his doubts are all gone. We’ve both grown quite fond of our ‘kettle meals’.

So today I wanted to share with you a few ideas for this super quick and easy method of cooking when you don’t have access to a proper kitchen.

why cook with your kettle?

1. It’s quick.

2. It’s super easy to clean up after. Just your eating container and utensils.

3. It’s delicious.

4. It’s perfect for when you feel like a warm meal, but don’t have access to a proper kitchen.

Situations like:
– work lunches
– in hotels – when you’re sick of eating out and room service
– when you’re flying – just ask for a cup of hot water
– backpacking
– camping

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don’t have a kettle?

You don’t actually need a kettle as such. It’s just about having a source of boiling water.

This could be boiling a pot on the stove. One of those continuous hot water thingys you often get in offices. Or even filling a thermos with hot water to take with you. (Wish I’d thought of that the bitter Winter I spent pruning vines in the Barossa Valley)

how does it work?

Too easy really. 3 simple steps.

1. Just pop your food in a heat proof container, preferably with a lid.

2. Cover with boiling water from the kettle or wherever. Pop the lid on (or you could just cover it with foil).

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3. Wait a few minutes & your hot meal is ready!

which foods work well in ‘kettle soups’?

Basically anything that doesn’t require much heat to cook it.

I like to use a combination of the following:

1. a mix of fresh veg, chopped finely so they heat up quicker.

2. something more substantial like chickpeas, couscous, canned lentils or noodles, cooked chicken, canned tuna, salami or chorizo.

3. seasonings for the ‘soup’. Soy sauce is a fav. You could also try spices, bullion powder, stock cubes, curry powder, curry pastes, miso, ketchup, tomato paste, pesto.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve tried eggs. They didn’t get enough heat to cook them. Leave it with me though…

looking for more quick cooking ideas?

The Super Quick Cooking class at The Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School could be just the thing for you!


From 18th Feb we’ll be focusing on speedy techniques such as kettle cooking, stir frying and ‘assembling’. As well as looking at time tricks to help make you faster in the kitchen.

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More details over here:

chickpea kettle soup
serves 2
Inspired by the noodle hot pot in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Everyday.

If you only need one serve, you could halve the recipe. Or make both portions since the second one will keep in the fridge for a few days.

1. Boil the kettle.

2. Divide chickpeas, vegetables, coriander and soy between 2 heatproof containers, preferably with lids.

3. Fill your containers with boiling water. Top with the lids and stand for 2 minutes, or longer if you prefer your veg less crunchy.

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4. Taste & adjust seasoning if necessary.

noodle soup – replace the chickpeas with dried rice noodles, fine egg noodles or mung bean (cellophane) noodles.

pasta soup – replace the chickpeas with fresh pasta

different veg – pretty much anything that you’re happy to eat a little crunchy will work – carrots, zucchini (courgettes), baby spinach, broccoli, corn, tomato.. endless possibilities.

curry soup – replace the ground coriander with curry powder.

soy-free – use some vegetable or chicken bullion powder or 1/4 stock cube instead of the soy sauce.

carnivore – add in a few handfuls of finely sliced salami or chorizo or some cooked chicken.


video version of the recipe


recently on the stonesoup diaries

§ how to make your own curry powder
§ 5 ideas for zucchini flowers that don’t involve the deep fryer
§ the secret to the most divine chicken
§ soup love

With Love,
Jules x


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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.