Several years ago, one side of my family decided that the adults would only exchange homemade gifts during the holidays. It was a welcome decision for my pocketbook. The problem is, I'm not very crafty.
After much trial and error, however, I finally found something I could do: Fill up jars with food and give them as gifts. With the help of my older daughter, we've given everything from soup to spice mixes to cookie mixes in a jar.
Here's one that we've made at home as well. We found the recipe on recipegoldmine.com.
Layered Dried Bean Soup Mix in a Jar
Dried Bean Mix
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup split yellow peas
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup small red beans
1/2 cup split green peas
Layer each type of bean in a 24 ounce clear gift jar. (That's my daughter's favorite part).
1 tablespoon dried sweet pepper flakes
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Combine these ingredients and store in a resealable plastic bag. Attach to the jar, along with the recipe for seasoned bean soup, which is below.
These are the instructions to attach to the jar:
Seasoned Bean Soup
Dried bean mix
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans tomatoes
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (This is optional. I skip it).
Rinse beans and place in large Dutch oven or stock pot. Pour 4 cups boiling water over beans; cover and let soak overnight.
Drain beans and return to stock pot. Add 6 cups water or chicken stock, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 to 1/2 hours or until beans are almost tender.
Add tomatoes and seasoning mix. Stirring occasionally, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover beans and continue to simmer about 1 hour longer or until beans are tender and soup thickens. Serve warm.
You'll get about 10 cups of soup.
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