Here’s tomorrow’s lunch: black bean soup with cilantro and sour cream. Here at the Cottage, winter is all about cozy foods like fragrant soups and breads. I pack my breakfast and lunch every day, because I am frugal and because I leave the house too early to eat breakfast – my minimum 12-hour fast is not done.
A few years ago, mason jar salads were all over the internet. They made pretty photos, but as someone who has packed many years of lunch salads, I was mystified by their popularity. A quart-sized mason jar is bulky and heavy and the wrong shape from which to eat a salad, resulting in the necessity of a second dish to clean.
However, I find pint-sized mason jars to be the ideal container for soup lunches. Unless you’re using a thermal food jar and preheated soup, there aren’t many other leakproof containers, and these can go directly into the microwave and double as a soup bowl. Leftover soup can go into the mason jar and into the freezer (be careful not to overfill, due to expanding liquid that can cause the jar to crack) and then pulled out when some lunch food is needed. Small containers can be used for any soup toppings to be added after heating.
I cooked 2 pounds of black beans on the weekend. Some beans went into the refrigerator for one of my favorite quick meals: Beans, Greens, & Carotenes. Others went into the freezer for future enchilada or burrito nights. And the last of the beans, plus the bean broth, were seasoned for black bean soup.
Other soups that make delicious, satisfying lunches:
Minestrone’s many variations
Random vegetable soup with beans and barley
Tuscan bean soup
…but really, what steaming hot soup doesn’t make a satisfying lunch on a cold winter day?
What do you pack for lunch?