Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Make Your Own Dried Soup Mix



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.

6 comments :

  1. I used your Friendship soup for gifts this past Christmas and I have a few jars left to use up. They were healthy and delicious. Can't wait for these recipes to be released. I don't have a dehydrator, but that looks like a great way to save pantry space. Especially for veggies like celery and carrots - to use them up before they go bad. I don't like to waste food. You have also encouraged me to venture out to take a class on indoor composting as well. I don't have a means to compost outside; so this is a good alternative. No, it does not smell. I can only feed my special worms - fruits and veggie remains, egg shells and coffee grinds and filters. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. The warm fireplaceMarch 25, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    I am looking forward to your soup mix recipes, i have never seen a dehydrator they do look like a very good idea and will save storage space, they must do them over here in the UK, Thank you for your wonderful recipes.
    Sue

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  3. It looks like you have screens for your trays so the little bits don't fall through. My dehydrator didn't come with screens. Did yours or did you add the screens? If you added them, what did you use? I would like to make screens for mine.

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    Replies
    1. My dehydrator was given to me and the previous owner had added the screens. I really like them. I'm not sure what they are made of - some kind of plastic net. They are easy to clean, and as you mentioned, they keep the tiny pieces from falling through the trays.
      Gina

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  4. What a great idea to dry the vegetables. Here's a fabulous soup from a friend of mine:

    MIXED BEAN SOUP
    Wash 1 pint of bean mixture (see list below). Cover with water. Add 1 Tbsp salt. Soak overnight. Drain beans and rinse. Put in large pot with 8 cups of fresh water, a ham hock (1# or more, optional), and 1 tsp ginger. Cover and simmer 2 hours. Add one large chopped onion. Simmer another 1/2 hour. Add one 29 oz can tomatoes (whole or diced), the juice of one lemon, one garlic clove, and one chopped red bell pepper. Remove ham hock, cut meat into small pieces, and return to soup. Simmer until ready to eat. Makes 3 quarts.

    For 17 pints of dry bean mix, mix 1 pound of each: Black beans, Baby lima beans, Navy beans, Great northern beans, Small red beans, Kidney beans, Mung beans, Barley, Anasazi beans, Lentils, Black-eyed peas, Green split peas, Yellow split peas, Azuki (or adjuoki) beans, Pinto beans. (Eliminate or substitute any bean that you cannot find.)

    Lorraine

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  5. My mom and grandma taught me so many things...just like this. Thank you for reminding me....

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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