A few years ago I spent months experimenting with various online recipes for “Soup in a Jar,” wanting to perfect something for holiday gifting. I think I was entirely successful with the following recipe. It fits in a pint jar, serves four people, doesn’t require much more in the way of ingredients to have on-hand, and is pretty tasty!
I now make a point of doing up a batch of these jars every fall for our home pantry. I “dry can” them (look for instructions online) and seal them with an oxygen absorber packet inside. I have every confidence that my jars would be viable for several years, though I haven’t been able to personally test this since we end up eating them, or giving them away as little gifts or barter items, well before I can see how long they might last.
For holiday gifting, I call them “Hearty Holiday Soup in a Jar”.
In clean sterilized pint canning jars, layer in order given, then seal:
- ¼ cup Pearl Barley
- 3 Tbsp. Beef Bouillon granules or 8 unwrapped beef bouillon cubes
- 2 heaping Tbsp. Dehydrated Carrot Slices (I dehydrate my own; if not available, omit)
- ¼ cup Lentils (any variety)
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Dried Onion Flakes
- ½ tsp. Dried Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- ½ tsp. Hot Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ¼ cup Split Peas
- ¼ cup Long Grain White Rice
- ¼ cup Small Pasta, wrapped separately in a bit of plastic wrap
The gift tag (directions) should read: You will need 1 lb. ground beef, 1 can (14.5 oz.) undrained diced tomatoes, and 8 c. water. Remove pasta packet and set aside; remove and discard oxygen absorber. In soup pot brown and crumble ground beef till done; drain grease. Add tomatoes, water, and contents of jar. Bring to boil then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and simmer 15 more minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.