Easy, Cheap, Fast Last-Minute Gift

This homemade jar gift is perfect. You can feel good giving a healthy food gift and know that it will feed an army and taste great! All you need is a quick trip to the supermarket to find everything on the list.

What you need (for 1 jar):

1 Qt. canning jar (I found these in packs of 12 for 10 bucks at the local supermarket)

1/2 C dry split peas

3 reduced sodium chicken bouillon cubes

1/2 C dry lentils

1/4 C dried minced onion

2 tsp. italian seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

1/4 C quick cooking pearl barley

1 C whole grain rotini pasta

Layer all ingredients in the order above starting with the peas. Combine the barley and pasta in a ziploc bag and put in the jar last. Attach the following recipe to the jar. You can change the name for whatever occasion you need it for too! i.e. “birthday soup,” “friendship soup,” etc.

Also, I’ve tested the recipe and it tastes great! I leave plenty of room for more seasoning if someone prefers to add more salt to their own soup. I found it especially tasty with a pinch of red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese.

Kristen’s Christmas Soup


½ C dry split peas

3 reduced sodium chicken bouillon cubes

¼ C quick pearl barley

½ C dry lentils

¼ C dried onion flakes/minced onion

2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

2 bay leaves

1 C whole grain rotini pasta

Additional Ingredients Needed:

1 lb. lean ground turkey, chicken or beef (I like it with turkey)

1 garlic clove (or garlic powder), minced

1 can – 28 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can – 8 oz. tomato sauce, no salt added

~3 quarts of water (approx. 12 Cups)

Salt and Pepper to taste


Remove pasta and barley (in bag) from jar and set aside. In large pot over medium heat, brown the meat.  Drain excess fat. Add garlic and sauté about 30 seconds (carrots and green peppers diced would also be a great addition here). Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and soup mix. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in pasta and barley and simmer or low boil an additional 10-15 minutes, uncovered. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy! Makes approximately 12 cups of a hearty broth-based soup. Freeze the leftovers!

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

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