What could be more personal than giving gifts from your own kitchen? Gifts from home are gifts from the heart. Last year at this time, the girls and I started our holiday gift project: organic soup mix jars! I set up somewhat of an assembly line at our kitchen table and we began the layering process! As you can see with help from little (clean) hands, the layers are perfectly imperfect which, in my opinion, makes this gift even better! If you are not interested in anything less than perfection, see the tips below!
You can make these jars up to six weeks in advance. Just be sure the containers are airtight. I used 16 oz Ball jars for this particular mix and it fit perfectly!
Here are are some jar assembly tips:
1. Good quality organic ingredients make all the difference.
2. Finding a good quality, organic vegetable bouillon in a jar was tricky. I bought the kind packaged in individual squares and mashed them with a fork. Alternatively, you could combine the cubes in a magic bullet and blend them up for a few seconds.
3. If you have a wide mouth canning funnel, it will be helpful in loading the ingredients into each jar, especially if your kids are helping! You can find them at Wal-mart.
4. It is also helpful to pack down each layer with a tall spice jar or something else thin and round. This will assure even layering...see picture above for a good example of uneven layering :)
5. Include a gift tag. I created a word document with the cooking instructions, printed it out on cardstock, cut it with fancy scissors, whole punched it and tied it on with ribbon. Email me if you would like a copy of it! firstname.lastname@example.org
Organic Minestrone Soup Jar Mix
¼ cup red lentils
¼ cup green split peas
¼ cup barley
1/3 cup vegetable bouillon powder
2 tbsp. parsley flakes
3 tbsp. onion flakes
1/3 tsp. thyme
1/3 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. basil
approximately ¼ cup ditalini pasta
In a 16 ounce jar, layer from the bottom in the order given, then seal the jar.
Include these instructions on your gift tag:In a very large saucepan combine 8 to 10 cups of water, a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, and soup mix. Add 2 chopped carrots, and 2 to 4 chopped potatoes (optional: 2 cups chopped cabbage). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour or until peas are tender. Enjoy!
This is the brand of bouillon I bought from whole foods. Amazon sells it in bulk as packs of twelve. I'm guessing you have no use for 192 vegetable bouillon cubes but I thought I would post the brand I used.