This winter I have experimented with making my own dried soup mixes. I thought I was too late to share this with you all, but winter is not letting us out of its grip, so to me that means soup weather.
I had seen several cute soup mixes for sale. I loved the idea of adding more dried beans to our diet since they are both inexpensive and good for you. I also had some dehydrated peppers, dehydrated onions, and homemade tomato powder in my pantry. I wondered if I could use them to make a bean soup mix.
I wanted a soup mix that I would need to add no more ingredients so I dehydrated some carrots and celery to add to my selection.
As always, I was amazed at how little room dehydrated vegetables took.
Carrots before dehydrating.
Carrots after dehydrating.
Celery before dehydrating.
Celery after dehydrating.
A whole stalk (not a stem - a whole stalk!) fit into a pint jar after dehydrating. What a space saver for the pantry.
But now to use these dried vegetables.
I pulled out my dried beans and with a couple online recipes as a base, I started experimenting with various combinations.
The process that I decided worked best for me was to first place the seasonings in the jar.
Then add the beans, and finally add the dried vegetables. For my family, a full pint jar was the perfect amount for a meal. To feed a crowd, I could have used a quart jar with a double amount.
While I had my ingredients out, I would make several jars. With gift tags added, they were a simple gift. And I loved the simplicity of dumping the jar into a pot, adding water, and having my meal prep finished.
I chose to add all the ingredients at the same time, except for the salt. If you prefer to pre-cook your beans, drain the water, and then add your veggies and seasonings in fresh water, you would need to package them separately. With the long cooking time that beans require, the spices are not as strong but it seemed to work for our family. Maybe you would prefer to have a little baggy with the seasonings which you would add at the end of the cooking time.
A few of the soups I added meat which could not be included in the jar but if I had some pre-cooked ham or chicken in the freezer, it was still a very easy meal.
I hope to give you some ideas for bean soup mixes to spark your own ideas. But this post is long enough so I'll share the specific soup recipes another day.
From left to right are Peasant Bean Soup, Five-Bean Soup, Creamy Chicken Chili, and Southwestern Bean and Barley Soup.