By Cassie Johnston
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This post is brought to you by the Small Token Gift Registry—a charitable gift registry created so your holiday gifts make a difference. Tell your friends and loved ones to donate to causes you care about instead of giving you more stuff. And, get TWO (FREE!) eBooks by clicking here.
Guys, I am so pumped for today’s post for two reasons—first up, I think these soup mixes are the *perfect* handmade gift for you to give to your loved ones. They are affordable to make (just a few bucks a pop), they are delicious, they are thoughtful, and my favorite part—they are consumable. You give the gift, the giftee uses it and appreciates it, and then it’s gone—no tchotchke sitting around waiting to be donated to the thrift store in a few months.
The second reason why this post makes me so happy—I’m thrilled to tell you about the Small Token Gift Registry. This is, quite possibly, the coolest idea I’ve heard of all year. The Small Token Gift Registry is a different kind of registry. Instead of registering for things, you register for charities and non-profits that mean something to you (check out my registry!). Then, when someone goes to give you a gift off your registry, they make a donation in your name to an organization that is important to you. How cool is that?
Reality check: this year in the United States alone, we will spend $465 BILLION (with a B!) on holiday gifts. Experts estimate it would only take $175 billion to completely eradicate poverty for a year. Can you imagine the good work we could do if we just spent half the amount we normally do this Christmas and donated the rest? That’s the premise Small Token was founded on. Your holiday gifts could do something really powerful this year, and Small Token wants to help you make that process easier.
The best part about this whole thing? It’s totally F-R-E-E free. Free to set up your registry. Free to the person donating (aside from their donation, obviously). And totally free for the charities and non-profits. Small Token doesn’t take a cut of the donations at all—everything except for the credit card fee is passed directly onto the non-profits on your registry. Amazing, right?
So what does all of this have to do with jarred soup mixes? Well, while I think a charitable donation is a wonderful gift, I’m also a big believer in the joy of gifting a tangible present. I think there is something really romantic and thoughtful about making or buying a gift, wrapping it, and hand delivering it to a loved one.
Here’s what I think is the most perfect holiday gift: a simple, thoughtful handmade gift (like these jarred soup mixes!) and a donation to a charity I believe in. It’s the best of both worlds.
If soup mixes aren’t your jam, I’ve partnered up with Small Token to create a FREE eBook with 10 simple, easy, thoughtful handmade gift ideas. Go download it right now! It’ll take you 30 seconds at most. I’ll wait…
…okay, now that you’ve got your eBook is on the way, let’s dig into these awesome soup mixes. They are easy and affordable to make. And they are super delicious! These suckers only use ingredients you can get at a regular supermarket—nothing fancy or special order.
You could make up enough of these for everyone on your list in less than an hour. Below you’ll find the recipe for each, plus free printable tags that give your giftee complete instructions for how to make the soup—plus a second tag where you can share your Small Token Gift Registry URL (just in case your loved one wants to reciprocate your sweet gift).
Alright, let’s make some gifts!
This soup is tomato based (you add a can of diced tomatoes when cooking), vegetarian, and packed full of garlic and Italian herbs.
To Make Italian Barley Soup: Remove wrapper from bouillon cube and add it, plus all remaining ingredients, plus four cups of water and one 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the barley is tender, about 20 minutes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan. Season to taste.
This beautiful green soup mix is so festive and green! I like to stir in a cup of chopped ham when it’s finished cooking to make it really hearty.
To Make Split Pea Soup: Remove wrapper from bouillon cube and add it, plus all remaining ingredients, plus four cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in one cup of chopped ham before serving. Season to taste.
This lentil soup is bright orange, packed full of exotic flavor, and super delicious served with a stack of warm naan bread!
To Make Coconut Curry Soup: Remove wrapper from bouillon cubes and add them, plus all remaining ingredients, plus four cups of water and one 14-ounce can of full fat coconut milk to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the chile pepper before serving. Season to taste.
It doesn’t get much more beautiful than this layered bean soup mix. This baby is vegetarian, but is still packed with flavor. You can see a full tutorial for how to make bigger versions of these jars in this post.
A note about cooking with dried beans: the age of the beans can dramatically affect the amount of water and the amount of cooking time beans need. Older beans = longer to cook (and you don’t always know how old the beans in the store are). Best bet is to keep an eye on the soup, add more water if necessary, and taste test until the beans are softened.
To Make Five Bean Soup: Remove wrapper from bouillon cube and add it, plus all remaining ingredients, plus five cups of water and one 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender and the soup is thick, about 90 minutes, adding more water as necessary to soften the beans. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. Season to taste.
This soup makes a great holiday gift, and it’s great to keep on hand to give when someone you love comes down with a cold.
To Make Chicken Noodle Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté one diced carrot and one diced stalk of celery until just tender, about 5 minutes. Unwrap the bouillon cube from the soup mix, and then add it, plus all remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Add in 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the noodles are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 cups chopped cooked chicken before serving. Season to taste.
This is such an awesome, hearty soup that’s packed with Southwestern flavors. I love it topped with sour cream and avocado. You can see how to make bigger size jars (for a BIGGGG batch of soup) by visiting this post.
To Make Spicy Black Bean Soup: Remove wrapper from bouillon cube, add it, plus all remaining ingredients, plus six cups of water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender and the soup is thick, about 90 minutes, adding more water as necessary to soften the beans Remove and discard the chile pepper and bay leaves before serving. Season to taste.
These homemade canning jar soup mixes are the perfect frugal holiday gift! Learn how to make six different flavors.
Keywords: DIY gifts, food gifts, soup, soup mix
Find it online: https://wholefully.com/homemade-soup-mixes-in-a-jar/
If I had to pick just one of these soups to make, it’d be the Italian Barley. It’s so delicious and hearty! And I love it served with some shredded Parm and big, fluffy breadsticks.
I hope that you guys consider giving frugal, handmade gifts this holiday, and then donating your “extra” gift budget to charity—together, we can make a big difference in this world! And don’t forget to create your own Small Token Gift Registry and to download your free eBooks.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Small Token Gift Registry. All opinions are entirely my own. Learn about my sponsored post policy in the bylaws. Want to be a sponsor? Let’s work together!
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Rate this recipe
How many servings would you say each soup makes in this size jar?
They make about four lunch-size servings. For a bigger batch, just double the recipes and use a quart-size jar. :)
Perfect timing! I was looking for a little something else to send to some relatives out of town and I think this will work perfectly!
One question – on the spicy black bean soup, should the amount of black beans be higher? The recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but the amount of water in the recipe and the photo make me think it might need to be more?
Thanks for the great ideas!
Great catch! It’s supposed to be a full 1 1/2 cups. Off to fix it now!
Yay! Looks delicious…
So I’m having trouble find boullion at my local store in cubes that isn’t full of tons of chemicals and fillers, any ideas for where to find these or brands to look for??
I use (and love) these: http://amzn.to/2g17d3Q
They are all vegetarian, but I use them just as I would regular chicken and beef boullion. I can get them at my regular supermarket.
Forget gifts…I’m keeping these at home for quick meals :)
I’m not sure if I’m blind or it’s missing, but I’m not seeing the pepper in the Five Bean soup. The instructions (step 2) says ” Remove and discard the chile pepper and bay leaves before serving” but I don’t see the pepper in the ingredients. Will any pepper work? Specific one you’d prefer?
Also, are these a one-serving soup?
Sorry! That was a carry over from the Spicy Five Bean Soup. No chile pepper in that one!
And each jar makes about 4 lunch-size servings when all said and done. :)
Thank you for clarifying about the chili pepper in the 5 bean soup. I was just getting ready to print the labels, and saw that. You havent by chance, posted a revised tag for the recipe, yet, have you? And if not, is there a way that I can make the correction myself? Thank you!! :0),
Is it possible to update the tag PDF? Thanks!
these look amaaaazing but I totally need to know where you got that awesome bracelet!!! Thanks!!!
Target! I love it. It goes with everything! http://goto.target.com/c/139942/81938/2092?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Ffashion-bracelet-multi%2F-%2FA-50367822
I love *everything* about this post. So many fun, creative soups – and what better to give for the holidays! Thoughtful, useful, homemade gifts are so wonderful.
I love it all! the soup mixes are brilliant and great for gitfing and the idea to give back and take the “commercial” out of Christmas.
Can i swap the cubes with powdered bolliun?
I would think so!
What fabulous ideas – both the gift registry and the soups. I love what they represent and I’ll bet the soups are instant love in a jar.
Can you share how you made the tags on the jars?
Sure, I made them in Photoshop, then printed on card stock and cut them out. :)
My bullion cubes seem much smaller than yours in the video. Per directions on the bottle it says one Cube will make 8 ounces as broth. Do I need to add more than one Cube if we’re adding 4 cups of liquid?
Do you need to soak the beans before cooking? The instructions on my beans says to soak them first.
Loooove this gift idea! I am making for co-workers this year.
one question. The recipe for the Italian Barley calls for sundried tomatoes. I can only find them packed in oil. Do I just dry off and put in jar?
I hope it is ok to do this… but I don’t think adding sundried tomatoes in oil will work>>>
but here is a link on Amazon
Ok…I’m loving these for gifts at school. One concern…what about the fact that natural dried beans are dirty. They are supposed to be washed before cooking. How do you wash the beans when they are mixed with the spices? The jars look so nice with everything piled up and mixed, but I can’t see how my friends are going to rinse the dirty beans before they begin to cook.
I pretty much never wash my beans before cooking—a little dirt never hurt! You’ll be boiling the soups to a high enough level to remove any bad germs, and because beans are grown in a pod, they don’t get very dirty/dusty/soil-y. But if it bugs you, just put the spices and boullion into a separate baggy and recommend to your giftees that they rinse the beans first.
I didn’t get the ebook. Used WHOLEFULLY.
Hi Mary! I’m so sorry to hear that. Can you shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (include your username from Small Token), and I’ll send it over to my contact to see whats up? Again, so sorry!
This is such a nice alternative to those cookies in a jar gifts, great for friends who don’t have a sweet tooth or have just moved and might need some sustenance
Thank you for all your tips I’m really excited to make the jarred salad. The soup in a jar are going to be a great gift to give for the holidays later this year. Thanks!
I was wondering what kind/size boullion cubes you put in the jars, they look larger than the ones I see in the store.
I’m using Edward & Sons vegan cubes. Love them!
have you tried using granulated bouillon instead of cubes? Then you wouldn’t have to unwrap the cube.
I haven’t – great idea! I didn’t know that was a thing!
I love the granulated soup base myself and use it regularly! I did a little calculations on the bouillon cube questions.
Wylers are 56 grams for 15 cubes, that equals 3.73g per cube where the Edward & Son’s Vegan are weighing in at 10.5g per cube. This is a massive difference in more than double. Check your amounts and adjust accordingly. I hope this helped. :) p.s. I LOVE LOVE your recipes!!
Toss in some bowl cozies, nice crackers, and a few other treats and I think I just found what is going in this year’s Christmas gift baskets! Thank you!
That’s a great way to make a gift like this even more special!
Don’t the beans need to be washed before eating? How does this work when the spices are in already? Dying to try these!
From Cassie: “I pretty much never wash my beans before cooking—a little dirt never hurt! You’ll be boiling the soups to a high enough level to remove any bad germs, and because beans are grown in a pod, they don’t get very dirty/dusty/soil-y. But if it bugs you, just put the spices and boullion into a separate baggy and recommend to your giftees that they rinse the beans first.”
How long is the shelf life after making these?
I’d say about as long as the shelf life of the beans. Probably at least a year?
The dried beans don’t need to soak first?
Nope, you don’t have to. You can just cook them longer. If you prefer, you can mix up the spices separately and include them in a spice packed (either in a ziptop baggie or folded parchment paper), and then instruct folks to soak the beans first.
Hi, great soup recipe ideas! One suggestion…can you make the printed version of the recipe formatted so it’s printable on just one page? Thanks!
GREAT IDEAS!!! What kind of veggie bouillon are you using? I have The Organic Gourmet Bouillon Cubes Vegetable Flavor where a serving is half a cube = 5.5 grams = makes 1 cup prepared broth. When you say one cube, do you mean a full 11 gram cube = 2 cups prepared broth? Thanks for clarifying for me before I make these!! :)
I would go ahead and put the full cube in—more flavor is never a bad idea! :)
just a question about the coconut curry soup mix. in the video you top with one boullion cube, the recipe calls for 2….just wondering if 2 is correct?
My bullion cubes were big ones (making 2 cups of broth each), if you have a normal cube that makes 1 cup broth, use two. :)
This page just appeared on a Yahoo ‘Best DIY Gifts’ list and it reminded me that I need to make these again! Love it when I see other people sharing your awesome posts!
Help! Question for you – all of the grocery stores I have been to only have sundried tomatoes that require refrigeration after opening or are packed in oil. Is there something I can sub for the sundried tomatoes? Tomato paste? More diced tomatoes? Thanks!
I would just tell your gift-ees to add their own sundried tomatoes when they make it. :)
In the directions for the curry soup, it states to remove the chili pepper but it is not in the ingredients. Just wondering if I should be putting on e in?
Thanks so much. I can’t wait to make this!!
This maybe a silly question but where do you get your dried vegetables?
What size jars is everyone using to make these?
I cant seem to download the tags from this site also some of then have onion is it always dried or not
I made the Coconut Curry Soup (link below) from Wholefully(dot)com tonight… so delicious! I added some red pepper flakes because I didn’t have a chili pepper and it worked wonderfully. I will be making more jars of this for our pantry this fall. HUsband has already requested that I make this again. It served the 4 of us (2 adults, 2 young kids) just fine but would probably not serve 4 adults to full. We also added a french loaf with Jake’s famous oil/vinegar/garlic dip.
I love these recipes and cannot wait to give then as gifts! Just a quick question though, in the Coconut Curry Soup Mix is calls for a chili pepper. Does this mean dried or fresh, and can I use powder instead? Thank you so much as well!
I used a dried chili pepper (a whole one), but you could also use powder if you wanted—I’d go with 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
I love these and am making for holiday gifts this year, but where did you get the sundried tomatoes/what brand are you using? I cant seem to find actual dry ones to add without the oil! thanks.
I actually usually dry my own, but I’ve also gotten them dried in bags in the produce section of my local supermarket.
All soups are gluten- free?
Barley and egg noodles contain gluten, so the Italian Barley and Chicken Noodle are not gluten-free. The others should be, as long as you use a gluten-free bouillon.
I love your website! This is brilliant. I want to make these for my sister for christmas. She is recently widowed and doesn’t enjoy cooking. Her husband was the domestic genius! So, just a quick question. I want to half the recipe’s could you recommend what size jars I would need to use?
Half pint jars should do the trick!
Love these jars! Where do you buy dried chopped onion, and dried chopped garlic?
You should be able to find them with all the other spices at your regular grocery store!
These soups look delicious and I plan on making several of them for gifts. Just so you know , the billions that people spend on Christmas gifts are incredibly important to the holiday. Do you understand how many companies depend on the Christmas season to bread even for the year? Not just your big box stores, small businesses especially. Without those dollars coming in many businesses would fold, supply chains hurt, etc., etc. etc. While i think it is really nice to help people in need, don’t forget that those around you need your support too.
The black bean soup just says dried garlic. All the others with dried garlic say minced. So is it minced or slices?
What makes the coconut curry soup “coconut”?
Found it! I skipped right to the recipe and then scrolled back through to see individual instructions. Thanks for the brilliant ideas!
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