How to Make Soup Mixes in a Jar – Recipes, Tips & Labels

Here are at several soup mixes in a jar for you to assemble and enjoy. I keep adding more, because they’re so great!

chicken noodle soup mix
Chicken noodle soup mix in a jar. A classic comfort food ready for any emergency!

Also Read: Vegetable Quinoa & Lentil Soup Mix, Prairie Garden Soup Mix, Onion Soup Mix, Split Pea Soup Mix, Chicken Noodle Soup Mix


  • super easy to assemble
  • affordable ingredients
  • reuse containers
  • can accommodate food intolerances
  • can be vegetarian or vegan
  • nutritious
  • easy to prepare

Layering all those colorful herbs and veggies in a jar or bag is a lot of fun and makes great gifts. If you’re a gardener and dehydrate your own veggies and herbs, it’s a great way to show them off, but of course, this isn’t a requirement. It’s just as fun to visit your local bulk food store and see what unique and colorful ingredients you can find to layer and put together.

split pea and ham soup mix in a jar on counter
Split Pea Soup Mix. I used a mix of green and yellow split peas for interest.

The hardest part of this process is knowing how much of each ingredient to add, how big your jar should be and what the final instructions should say. Lucky for you, I’ve done all that and now you just get to do the fun part! Click through the recipes you’d like to make for all the details.

three soup mixes
Lots of varieties available. Make them in a jar or in a bag.

Questions About Soup Mixes in a Jar

Here are some added notes to common questions I’ve received from readers.

Do you Have Printable Labels for these Soups?

I sure do, click here for sample soup labels.

What Kind of Bouillon Should I Use?

The best one you can find! The bouillon you choose can make or break the final flavour of your soup. If you’re really struggling or you don’t know the food preferences or intolerance of people your giving the mix to, then consider omitting the bouillon and write the cooking instructions to include soup stock instead of water, like I did in the Quinoa and Lentil Soup mix. That way, the person preparing the soup can use their preferred soup stock base.

Look in your bulk food store or in your grocery store in the soup or spice aisle.  There are so many options available – low sodium, vegetarian, chicken, beef, spicy beef, no MSG, cubed, powdered, individually wrapped, etc. Read the ingredients and select the one that best suits you.

You’ll need to read the instructions to determine how much to add to your soup mix. Look at the soup recipe and see how much water is being added. Your bouillon should give you how much to add per cup of water. If you’re using wrapped cubes and the formula turns out to be 1 1/2 cubes – add two cubes.

Can I Skip the Bouillon?

Yes! In fact, several of my recipes skip the bouillon and let the person making the soup choose their favourite soup stock. Cooks usually have a favourite kind, whether it’s homemade stock, bouillon powder, bouillon cubes, bouillon paste, canned broth or stock in tetra packs. Why not let them decide.

Including Bouillon – Use powder or bouillon cubes. Read the directions on your package and decide how much to add based on the amount of liquid in the soup. When writing cooking instructions, say Add WATER.

Not Including Bouillon – Do not include any bouillon. On the cooking instructions write Also Needed: 4-6 cups soup stock (or whatever the recipe says for amount of water) and write Add SOUP STOCK.

soup mix in gift box
Soup mixes ready for mailing.

Why Isn’t Salt Listed as an Ingredient?

Most bouillon or soup stock has quite a lot of salt in it, so I prefer not to add more salt in the dry mix. However, I do encourage tasting and adjusting seasoning with every recipe, so there’s always opportunity to add more salt near the end of the cooking process.

Also, adding salt at the beginning of the cooking process is not a great strategy. You’re almost always better off to hold off on adding salt towards the end of the cooking process. There are always exceptions to this rule, but for these soups – add salt to your liking towards the end.

Can I add More Ingredients?

You bet! You can add different dried ingredients to the package or you can add extra ingredients when making the soup.

If you’re adding ingredients to the dry pack, consider how long everything needs to cook and only add ingredients that match the overall cooking time. Otherwise, you’ll need to re-write the instruction list.

When cooking the soup, look in the fridge for leftover veggies, meat, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, cooked beans, salsa and so on; they can be tossed in towards the end of the cooking process.

Where can I get Dehydrated Vegetables and Herbs?

If you dehydrate your own veggies and herbs, this is your chance to use them! Make a custom blend of your favorite herbs and veggies. If you need to supplement with store bought – no problem! It’s all good.

While some grocery stores might sell mixed, dried veggies, your local bulk store will likely have the best and freshest selection. Be sure to visit the pasta and whole grain aisle too, there are some fun options there too.

vegetable flakes in bulk bin at store
At my closest bulk store, they sell them as mixed vegetable flakes that look like this. I found them in the soup & bean aisle.

What Kind of Jars or Bags and Where Can I Get Them?

The great thing about these mixes is that any jar or bag will do! As long as you can seal it tight and hold about 2 1/2 cups of dried goods, you’re good to go. You can use mason jars or reuse old jars.

Old pickle jars, jam jars, sauce jars or brand new fancy jars with fancy lids will work. Look for pint or 500 ml jars.

For bags, I prefer bags that have a gusset on the bottom so they fill out and stand up. It’s not a requirement, but if you’re buying bags and want to give these mixes as a gift, I think it’s a nice touch. You can usually get these at a bulk food store, a craft store or online. Search for cello or plastic bags that can hold 2 to 2 1/2 cups of dried food. The ones I use are 3 1/2″x 8 1/2″ or 9x22cm. Finding the right bags may be the trickiest part of this entire process! Good luck.

spice mix for soup
For seasoning mixes, use little baggies or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Both work!

How Long Will Soup Mixes Last?

In theory, dried food stored properly should last for years. However, for best quality, colour and flavour I highly recommend you use your soup mix within 12 months. Other references say 18-24 months.

The ingredient most at risk is the bouillon powder. If you want to store your mixes longer than recommended, add the bouillon when ready to make the soup.

Do I need to Soak The Beans?

Typically when I use dried beans, I soak them first – either quick soak or long soak so they cook faster and I can remove some of the starches that cause flatulence. However, in a recipe like this soup mix, you can skip the soaking. In fact, an article in Epicurious says they prefer not soaking beans for any recipe.

I do, however like to wash beans before cooking. That’s why I recommend putting everything except the spices in a sieve and rinsing well. Don’t worry about rinsing the veggies and other ingredients – they’re all going to get soaked anyway.

In this recipe, the beans will be cooked for 1 hr 10 minutes, which works for us. If you find them too tough, cook until they’re the consistency you prefer.

What About Toxins in Kidney Beans?

Raw kidney beans contain a high amount of protein called lectin that can lead to food poisoning. Even as few as 4- 5 raw kidney beans can cause some symptoms. As a result kidney beans should be boiled for at least 10 minutes. Undercooking kidney beans is said to actually intensify the problem.  Here’s some more info from Penn State Extension.

That’s why my instructions explicitly say to boil for 10 minutes. If you’re at all hesitant, consider omitting the kidney beans or replacing them with red lentils.

homemade garden soup mix

Favourite Soup Mixes in a Jar Recipes

Vegetable Quinoa & Lentil Soup Mix

Chicken Noodle Soup Mix

Prairie Garden Vegetable Soup Mix

Onion Soup Mix

Split Pea Soup Mix in a Jar

Bean Soup Mix in a Jar

MORE Gifts from the Kitchen?  

Homemade Scalloped Potatoes in a Jar

Homemade Granola

Homemade Seasoning Blends

Infused Vinegar

Candied and Spiced Nuts

Nuts and Bolts Recipe

Popcorn Seasoning Recipes

Cookie Mixes in a Jar

Do you have any questions about soup mixes in a jar? Do you think you’ll try it for yourself or as a gift for someone else? Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @getgettys and Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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  1. Hi! I’d like to make this soup as part of a “Friendship Soup” Girl Scout project. I love that so little makes so much soup! I had a question about the veggie mix. Could that be a commercially available vegetable soup mix (like Lipton or Knorr), or is it intended just to be dried vegetables. Don’t want to over-season the soup. 🙂 Any guidance will be appreciated!

    1. Great project idea!

      I would NOT use vegetable soup mix. The recipe is intended for just dried vegetables. Bulk food stores will have dried veggies.

      Have fun!

  2. Getting ready to make these for a women’s gathering at church… two questions come to mind…
    – Does the orzo get soggy simmering for an hour?
    – How many bouillon cubes would equal 1/4 cup?

    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Emily,
      Sounds like a great activity.
      I have never had an issue with the orzo, but there’s so much going on in this soup already that you could skip it or up the quantity of some of the other ingredients.
      As for the bouillon, check the instructions on the cubes you have. You want enough to make 7 to 8 cups of liquid. Every cube is slightly different, so I don’t want to lead you astray. Another option is to leave out the bouillon and on the cooking instructions change from adding water to adding soup stock.
      Good luck and have fun at your gathering.

  3. Hi, I was just getting ready to jar the Chicken Soup. Can I substitute bullion cubes for the bullion called for in your recipe? I am assuming you mean loose bullion as opposed to the cubes. Also, where do you find the dehydrated mix? Thank you.

    1. Yes, you sure can use bouillon cubes. If I don’t have my own mix of dehydrated veggies, our local bulk food stores have dehydrated veggie mixes.

      Good luck,


      1. Where and what kind do you get? I️ can’t seem to find dehydrated vegetables without ordering online….

        1. Most bulk food stores will carry a mix of dehydrated vegetables. Here in Winnipeg, Scoop and Weigh or Bulk Barn will carry it. Hope this helps.


  4. I am assuming that for the Garden Vegetable soup mix the red kidney and the black beans are dried. Do these not require soaking or longer cooking times?

    1. Hi Grace,

      Thanks for your question. Yes, all ingredients should be dried.

      The cooking time for this soup is recommended at 1 to 1 1/2 hours, that should be enough time to cook the beans. Also note, that in order to remove any toxins from the beans, the recipe says to boil for 10 minutes before simmering.

      Another alternative is to keep the beans in a separate baggie then rinse and soak them like in the bean soup mix recipe in this post or the quinoa and lentil soup mix –

      A final option would be to replace the beans with red lentils which are much faster cooking.

      Hope that helps.


  5. Hello! In your Chicken Noodle recipe instructions, you instruct to remove the bay leaf. However, it isn’t listed in the ingredients. If I am to use a bay leaf, would I just use one? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Jenni,
      Thanks for catching that! I have removed the bay leaf from the instructions. If you wanted to add a bay leaf, just use one.
      All the best,


  6. I would like to make these in a quart jar. Is it safe to assume that I can just double the ingredients in both the recipe and the cooking instructions? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lori. I have not made larger sizes, but yes, I think you could just double the ingredients. The area of most concern would be the spices as you might not need to double them. I would experiment with those a little and err on the side of not enough rather than too much – especially salt. You can always add more spices when you’re cooking the mix. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  7. Hi Getty, I’m new to your blog and was wondering if you had a recipe for your dried vegtable mix? Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi Kim,
      I use a hodge podge of whatever dehydrated vegetables I have on hand – peas, green beans, corn, onion, carrots, parsnips, bell peppers, etc. You can also buy dried veggie mixes at bulk food stores. Dried peppers from the garden can be a little bitter so I use those sparingly. I also go light on the parsnips so they don’t overpower the flavor. Hope that helps.

  8. For the Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe in a jar, after you put the ingredients in the jar, how do you seal the jar; do you can it, or just put a two piece lid on it and leave it like that?

    1. Hi Peggi! Since you’re only putting in the dry ingredients, all you need to do is seal it with a lid. It will keep for quite a long time, but will taste best if used within a year. Once you prepare the soup, freeze any leftovers. This is not a recipe suitable for hot water bath canning.

  9. Hi. I was curious what kind of beans you are using. I was assuming dried beans, but the cooking directions say rinse and cook. I always soak dried beans overnight before cooking. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I use a mix of dried beans in the pack. In the Bean Soup Mix, you’ll notice there are two cooking times. First, you bring the beans and peas to boil and then let them soak for an hour to soften them – this is the cheater version of soaking them overnight. Then you add more ingredients and cook them for another hour. The Garden Soup Mix has some red beans that will stay a little firmer, but they seem to work in the mix. The Chicken Noodle Mix has no beans so cooking time is much less. Great question, thanks for asking!

      1. Thank you for explaining. I’ll be trying one of the bean soups this weekend. Not sure which one yet!

          1. Hi Getty.
            I tried the garden vegetable last night. It was really a great. My husband loved it. We are planning on trying the bean soup this week. I can’t wait to put some together for gifts.

  10. I would like to include your Chicken Noodle Soup in a jar recipe in one of my e-books. I’d give your website address, of course. The book is a cozy mystery, sold on Amazon. Please let me know if this would be okay with you.

    1. Hi Jill-Ayn, thanks for asking! Yes, you may use the recipe with my web address. All the best.

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