Day two of the Handmade Holiday 2015 series, and I think we’re already settling into a theme—gifts that keep people cozy. Yesterday, it was the No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf tutorial. And today, I’m showing you how to warm your loved ones from the inside out with a hearty Spicy Black Bean Soup in a Jar.
Melissa from Bless This Mess (my partner-in-crime in this handmade gifting spree) is showing off how to make super easy, super awesome Simple DIY Beeswax Candles to help cozy up your home, too. These candles burn so clean and smell like warm honey. Who doesn’t want their house smelling like warm honey? I know I do! I can’t wait to make some of those candles to gift to myself!
But let’s get back to what’s happening over here. This soup mix is so easy to put together, and the resulting soup is SO tasty and SO easy to make! Unlike a lot of soup mixes in a jar, this one comes with everything you need to make the soup. All you add is water (plus any toppings you want). It seems hard to believe that something so simple could be so delicious, but it is packed with flavor! We love this soup (especially when served up with some cornbread).
When I told Melissa that I was going to do a soup in a jar for our week of handmade gifts, she said that she loves things like this because, by the time Christmas rolls around, she is so sick of cookies and cake and fudge. I am totally the same way! The sentiment of tray after tray of cookies is nice, but right around December 17th each year, I start to crave veggies and water and healthier options—like a hearty, fiber-packed black bean soup. It’s a great option for everyone on your list, because you can easily customize it to be vegan and gluten-free!
Let me show you how easy this soup in a jar is to put together. First up, gather your supplies.
For each jar (which serves six people), you’ll need:
- 1 wide mouth quart jar with lid (a canning jar, flip-top jar, or even a clean jar from mayo or spaghetti sauce would work)
- 3 cups dried black beans (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 cup dried navy or great northern beans (about 1/2 pound)
- 12″ x 12″ piece of parchment paper
- Rubber band
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (like these)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1/4–1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you’d like it)
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 4 chicken or veggie boullion cubes (this vegan brand is great)
- Cardstock and a printer, for the tag (download the PDF)
- Short wooden spoon, optional (like these)
Step One: Layer the Beans
Honestly, you could just use 100% black beans, and the recipe would be just as awesome. The only reason I use white beans is so the jar looks all pretty with the layers! Fill your clean jar with 3/4 cup black beans, followed by 1/3 cup white beans, and then repeat, ending with the last 3/4 cup of black beans.
Step Two: Make the Spice Packet
Place all the spices in the middle of the piece of parchment paper. Then, roll up the sides to make a little packet. Secure the packet closed with a rubber band. You can also use a small zip-top plastic bag for this, if you prefer.
Step 3: Stuff the Jar
Stuff the closed packet into the top of the jar. You might have to use a little elbow grease to get it in there, but it’ll go. Then close up your jar.
Step Four: Add Tag and Spoon
I created a PDF with the tags that you can download for free. I printed mine out on heavy kraft paper card stock. Cut out the label, use a hole punch to punch where the “x” is, and then tie it onto the jar with twine or ribbon.
If you’d like to make your own tags, here are the directions. Feel free to copy and paste into your own design:
In a large stock pot, combine the beans, spice packet contents, and 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1½–2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the soup is thick. You might need to add more water as the beans cook. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve topped with sour cream and diced avocado. Great with tortilla chips or cornbread on the side.
I think adding the wooden spoon to the side of the jar is a nice touch, so if you want to do the same, just tie the spoon on to the side with the twine.
And that’s it! Your gift jars are complete. You could easily pump out a bunch of these, assembly line style, in less than an hour.
Make sure to come back tomorrow, when Handmade Holiday week continues. Tomorrow I’m back with another food gift that is perfect for all the healthy foodies on your list! See you then.