Here are at several soup mixes in a jar for you to assemble and enjoy. I keep adding more, because they’re so great!
BENEFITS OF SOUP MIXES IN A JAR
- super easy to assemble
- affordable ingredients
- reuse containers
- can accommodate food intolerances
- can be vegetarian or vegan
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Favourite Soup Mixes in a Jar Recipes
MORE Gifts from the Kitchen?
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.