I have a treat for you guys this week! Craig and I have worked really hard over the past few days to come up with 10 handmade holiday gift ideas to post here on Back to Her Roots and over on The Broken Plow (our homesteading, DIY and all-things-homeowner-related blog) all this week. We are huge fans of giving handmade gifts and are really excited about sharing some of our best gift projects for this holiday season! Come back here and to the Plow all week-long to see what goodies we have in store.
If you head over to the Plow right now, you’ll find an awesome tutorial from Craig about how to make beautiful rustic wood coasters. They are a super simple gift that make a great stocking stuffer. Good things happen when my husband whips out the power tools.
But over here on BTHR, I’m doing what I do best—food, of course! A hearty, delicious, healthy soup-in-a-jar to be more specific.
These soup-in-a-jar kits not only look absolutely beautiful (pretty beans!) but they are also super healthy, vegetarian and totally delicious. With a little bit of pretty fabric on top, a nice ribbon and a label (which you can download for free at the end of this post)—they package up to be an absolutely adorable holiday gift that I’m sure a lot of folks on your list would be super happy to receive.
There are a lot of things I love about soup mixes like these, but I think my favorite is how quickly they come together and how economical they are. For the cost of five bags of beans and some spices (which you probably already have on hand) you get four jars that I think are really touching, personal gifts.
And being a fan of the healthy lifestyle, this whole food, fiber-packed, vegetarian gift is a nice change of pace from the buckets of candies and chocolates we all get at the holidays. This is a gift that, come January 1, won’t break resolutions.
The key to making these kits more than just beans layered in the jar is an all-in-one spice packet layered at the tippy-top of the jar. Filled with great flavors, the spice packet is added to the soup as it simmers away on the stove, imparting delicious, robust flavor to every single little bean friend in that jar. All you need to make the soup is the jar of mix, a can of diced tomatoes and some water.
The simplicity of the ingredients means that this guy stores well and is a great option for people who are interested in preserving food. Even if you don’t make these as gifts, they are awesome lined up on a pantry shelf. If we happen to get one of the diabolical ice storms that Southern Indiana is known for and power goes out for a week, you better bet I’ll be whipping up a batch of this soup on the gas stove.
Below are my instructions for the base mix for the soup, but feel free to mix it up and play with it however you’d like—it’s totally customizable! Change out the beans, add in new spices or even toss in some other dehydrated veggies (zucchini and peppers would be yum). Have fun!
Vegetarian Five Bean Soup Mix
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None
Makes: 4 Jars
- 1 pound pinto beans
- 1 pound split green peas (or green lentils)
- 1 pound great northern beans
- 1 pound black beans
- 1 pound kidney beans
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons dehydrated onions (found in the spice aisle)
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 8 bay leaves
- 4 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 4 clear quart Mason jars plus lids and rings
- Parchment paper
- Tape or stickers
- Fabric and ribbon to cover top
- In each of the four Mason jars, layer 2/3 cup of pinto beans—shaking the jar gently to level the beans. Then repeat with 2/3 cup of green peas and so on ending with the kidney beans. Set jars aside.
- In a small bowl, combine all remaining spices except bay leaves and bouillon cubes.
- On a 10″ x 10″ piece of parchment paper, spoon 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the middle. Place two bay leaves and one bouillon cube on top. Fold parchment around spices to make a small spice packet. Seal with tape or stickers. Repeat three more times to create four total packets. Squish the packets into the top space of each of the four bean jars. You can also package the spices into plastic zip-top baggies if you prefer.
- Place lids on jars, cover in fabric and ribbon and label as desired.
Of course, I can’t keep my designer hands out of Illustrator and had to make some cute labels for these jars and hand them over to you guys to download and use. The PDF includes two labels—one for the front and one with the soup directions on the back.
To print them, just pick up some full-sheet sticker paper from any office supply store, print and then cut out with a pair of sharp scissors. Tip for cutting round edges with scissors: keep the scissors steady, but move the paper.
What’s your favorite food gift to give during the holidays?