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Easy Soup Mixes in Mason Jars

By Kim Robson:

In the United States last year, we spent $465 billion dollars on holiday gifts. Experts estimate it would only take $175 billion to do away with hunger for one year. Why not kill two birds with one stone: gift-giving coupled with feeding loved ones a healthy meal.

Homemade soup mixes in Mason jars are the perfect gift for friends, family, hostesses, co-workers, or vendors. Noncontroversial, healthy, useful, inexpensive, delicious, and beautiful to look at — recipients may not even want to open them! Simply top with a square of cloth, tie on the instructions with some pretty twine, and voila! And they’re zero-waste: after the soup’s been eaten, the Mason jar can be reused indefinitely.

Rice and Lentil Soup Mix

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup uncooked converted rice
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/3 cup uncooked converted rice
  • 1/3 cup green lentils
  • 2 teaspoons butter or margarine
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery (optional)
  • 1 cup cubed cooked chicken (optional)

Measure the first eight ingredients into a one-quart jar in the order listed. Seal and attach a directions card.

Directions:

Bring the butter and water to a boil in a large pot. Pour in the contents of the jar and add celery and chicken (if using). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve with bread/a roll and/or a tossed salad.

Creamy Potato Soup Mix

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups dry milk powder
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt

Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour into a one-quart jar. Seal and attach a directions card.

Directions:

To serve, place 1/2 cup soup mix in bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water, stir until smooth. Serve with bread/a roll and/or a tossed salad.

Love Soup Mix

Ingredients:

  • 3 beef bouillon cubes, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1/2 cup dried split peas
  • 1/2 cup uncooked twist macaroni
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1/3 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup uncooked tri-color spiral pasta

Layer ingredients into a one-quart jar in the order listed, topping with enough tricolor spiral pasta to fill the jar. Seal and attach a directions card.

Directions:

In a large kettle with a little olive oil, brown 1 pound ground beef or stew beef cut into bite-size pieces. Remove tricolor pasta from top of jar and reserve. Add the rest of the jar’s contents to the kettle with 12 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes. Add tricolor pasta and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve with bread/a roll and/or a tossed salad.

French Country Soup Mix

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup dried split peas
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta
  • 1 cup uncooked twist macaroni

Layer the barley, peas, rice and lentils in a one-quart jar. Then layer around the edges the onion, parsley, salt, lemon pepper, bouillon and alphabet pasta. Fill the rest of the jar with the twist macaroni. Seal and attach a directions card.

Directions:

Pour contents of jar into a large pot. Add 3 quarts water, 2 stalks chopped celery, 2 sliced carrots, 1 cup shredded cabbage (optional), and 2 cups (or 1 can) diced tomatoes. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium-low heat, cover and simmer about 1 hour, or until vegetables and lentils/peas are tender. Serve with bread/a roll and/or a tossed salad.

Italian Country Soup Mix

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup dried split peas
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

In a wide mouth one-pint jar, layer the barley, split peas, rice and lentils. In a small plastic bag, combine the parsley, garlic, pepper, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and sage. Seal and attach a directions card.

Directions:

Set seasoning packet aside. Empty remaining jar contents into a colander and rinse. Place contents in a large stockpot and cover with 10 cups water. Stir in 1 chopped medium onion and the contents of the seasoning packet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Check after 30 minutes and add additional water if necessary. Serve with bread/a roll and/or a tossed salad.

About Kim Robson

Kim Robson lives and works with her husband in the Cuyamaca Mountains an hour east of San Diego. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, cooking, and animals. She has written a blog since 2006 at kimkiminy.wordpress.com. Her interests include the environment, dark skies, astronomy and physics, geology and rock collecting, living simply and cleanly, wilderness and wildlife conservation, and eating locally.

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