Most years, much of my holiday giving to friends, neighbors, and colleagues falls into a pretty predictable pattern. I buy a bunch of plain brown paper kraft bags and then fill them up with mix and match assortments of jam and pickles. Sometimes I really shake things up and add a jar of granola or some scone mix.
However, this year my habitual patterns are getting a big old shake up, thanks to my friends at Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products. They asked me to come up with a delicious, crafty gift for a Secret Santa program that made good use of their Sure Seal Bail Storage Jars. Since these jars aren’t designed for canning, I couldn’t rely on my stable of friendly canning recipes.
I did some soul searching and came to the realization that I wanted to make soup mixes and I wanted them to be in the spirit of those classic Manichewitz soup mix tubes that my mom always kept in the pantry when I was growing up. Nostalgia and a dinner time helper, all in one handy package!
And so, I got down to work. I borrowed inspiration from the contents of those Manichewitz tubes and from this post on making five bean soup kits over on Wholefully and ended up with three soup mixes I am delighted to send off to my Secret Santa swap partner and share with you guys.
There’s split pea and barley, triple bean and rice, and red lentil and pasta. I also included a spice packet in each jar to make the process of cooking up a pot of soup as easy as possible. Each jar also comes with a slip of paper that walks you through how to go from jar to a steaming bowl of soup (I do recommend that folks start the cooking process with some fresh onion, celery and carrot for maximum deliciousness).
I used a scale to portion out my soup ingredients to ensure consistency. If you don’t have a scale, you can eyeball the quantities as you divide them between the jars.
If you’re shipping your soup mixes, make sure you have a sturdy box and plenty of packing material. In the picture, I make it look like I relied entirely on packing peanuts, but after I took that photo I had second thoughts. I ended up swaddling each jar in a length of bubble wrap, to ensure that it arrived safely.
And while it’s good to gift, it’s also delightful to receive. My Secret Santa sent me a DIY Bread and Butter Pickle kit. I was charmed by it, though I do wish they’d have identified themselves in the box! Alas, it remains a mystery!
How cool. I love this idea. Would work with any jar but I do love those as I like the flip top lids that stay attached but lock down securely. I have a really tall purple one, unbranded, I keep my spaghetti in. I would mix those up just to make soup for me, but I know my Mom and my sister would love them.
do you have the red lentil and pasta recipe listed on your site anywhere?
I was looking for it, too. If you click through to the bean and rice soup recipe, there is a link to the red lentil one at the bottom of the post.
Oops! I don’t know where that link went! I’ve updated the post and you can find the recipe here: https://foodinjars.com/2017/12/red-lentil-orzo-soup-mix/