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Simple, inexpensive earth-friendly gift ... Layered Bean Soup Jar

If you've found your way to this site you received this jar of beans from someone who thinks you're quite spectacular!

- OR -

you may be looking for an inexpensive, healthy, earth-friendly gift to give someone else!

I've included here the directions for cooking the soup if you've receive a jar from someone

AND directions for assembling these if you'd like to give them as a gift.

** How to cook this easy, delicous, healthy soup **

(scroll down if you're looking for assembly directions)


Note that these are the basic cooking directions - it is intended that this is a "night off" of cooking for you so just toss it togehter than enjoy. BUT - you are welcome to stir in onions or other veggies, sausage, a can of diced tomatoes, etc... it's up to you!

  1. Open the jar and remove the bay leaf, boullion cube and seasoning ziplock.

  2. Dump the rest of the beans and grains into a large (~6 qt) stock pot , dutch oven or InstantPot.

  • The next step (pre-soaking) is recommended but not critical - if you'd like to cook it without soaking, it will take a bit more cooking time but will be just fine - proceed to step 6.

  1. Pre-soak the beans. Fill with tap water so that it completely covers the beans and is ~2 inches above the beans

  2. Let soak in room temperature water for 6-8 hours.

  3. Drain the soaking water (this step makes the beans more "digestible")

  4. Top the soaked bean/grains with the bay leaf, contents of the seasoning packet and peeled boulion cubes (break them apart to distribute them).

  5. Add 4 cups of tap water

  6. Stir

Method #1 - Cooking in an InstantPot (or any pressure cooker)

  1. Seal the lid

  2. Put it on high pressure for 10 minutes of active cook time (you can now sit, read and relax ... let the cooker do the rest of the work for you)

  3. Let it come up to pressure, cook for 10 minutes and naturally release & passively cook for ~40 more minutes.

  4. Open the cooker and ENJOY with a nice piece of crusy bread.

Method #2 - Cooking on a stove top

  1. Bring the mixture up to a boil and reduce the temperature to low

  2. Place a lid on the pot and allow to simmer (stirring occassionally and adding water if necessary) for 1 to 1.5 hours. This is a good time to sit, read and relax a bit ... you deserve it!

  3. When the beans are tender, ENJOY with a nice piece of crusy bread.

******* How to assemble a layered soup jar ******


Here's my combination and order of ingredients, but you can work your own magic and customize it however you wish.

Start with a pint jar. You can buy them (here, for example) OR use one that was destined for the recycle bin, such as a tomato sauce, salsa or olive jar. I'd recommend assembline a few of these jars at a time so you have them on hand - they're great as:

  • host gifts

  • moving (in or out) gift

  • birthday gift

  • holiday gift

  • get well gift

  • the list goes on .... any time you need a little something to help someone feel special!

Assemble the seasoning packet in a tiny ziplock bag (these can be found in craft isles and at stores that sell jewlery making supplies, like beads).

  • 2 Tbsp onion flakes

  • 1 Tbsp dry parsley

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning

Layer the beans (listed bottom to top).

1/4 Cup each of:

  1. brown rice

  2. small red beans (or kidney beans)

  3. green split peas

  4. cranberry beans (or black eye peas)

  5. red lentils

  6. black beans

  7. wheat kernels (or quinoa or more rice if you want it to be gluten-free)

  8. brown lentils (put about 1/2 of the lentils, then lay the seasoning packet ziplock and fill the rest of the jar with the lentils).

  9. Nestle 3 small vegetable boullion cubes into the top layer of lentils

  10. Place one bay leaf on the top.

Be sure to fill the jar to the top before placing the lid. This will ensure that the layers don't get jostled in transport - you want the jar / seasoning / boullion cube to fit pretty tight to the top.

Now - make it special. For the top of the jar, cut a circle out of a decorative piece of paper (parts of old greeting cards work well, before you toss them into the recycle bin). Write a message on the card ... "Thank you", "Happy Birthday", etc... Print this QR code (QR code in linked pdf or included below) and glue it to the paper so they'll have a link to this site for the cooking directions.

Easy-peasy - keep a few on hand for great grab-and-go gifts for so many occassions!


Any questions? Leave a comment here or email


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