Friday, May 17, 2013

Weeknight Soup In A Jar


Yesterday was one of those days.  You know the kind, where you roll out of bed, hit the ground running and just never stop.  It was crazy.  And when I finally got around to making dinner, I realized I had nothing planned, and very little desire to get creative.

Oh, wait.  That's pretty much everyday.

Lucky for me, I have a stash of soup in a jar.  A reasonably hefty stash of soup in a jar.  So I grabbed a jar, and the ingredients that go with it, threw it on the stove, went and started some laundry, took the dog for a walk, and voila!  Soup.

What is soup in a jar, you ask.  It's just what it sounds like - soup mix that I make and store in jars for nights when I haven't planned any dinner.  Healthier than any pre-made soup mix you might buy off the shelf, and just as convenient.  I keep several of them on hand, because they are not only easy, healthy dinners for my family, but great to grab for a hostess gift, a housewarming gift, a hey-you-just-had-a-baby-and-aren't-sleeping-and-can't-see-straight-much-less-make-dinner gift.

Here is how it goes:

I take a half pint canning jar, and in it I layer 1/4 cup of split peas:

And on top of those I add 1/8 cup of chicken boullion:

1/8 cup of pearl barley:

1/4 cup of dry lentils:

1/8 cup of onion flakes:

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning:

and 1/4 cup white rice:

If I have some time on my hands (hahahahahahahahaha... phew, thanks.  I needed that!)... oh, where was I?  Right.  If I have some time on my hands (snort) I will line all my little jars up and make a soup jar assembly line.  

When I have the rice in, I slap a lid on it and stuff it in my pantry until a night when I have nothing planned for dinner.  The end result, by the way, looks like this:

Isn't that cute?!  Yes.  Yes it is.

When that night comes that I have nothing planned, I pull out the following ingredients:

I have the soup mix, a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, and a 1/2 - 1 pound of meat.  I use smoked turkey sausage.  Pretty much any meat will work in here, but trust me when I say that smoked sausage is the way to go.  YUM!

From there, it couldn't be easier.  Slice the sausage:

Put the sliced sausage in a large pot with a can of tomatoes, the soup mix, and 6 cups of water:

That's it.  Bring it to a boil, turn down and cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Then add my favorite ingredient - pasta.  Any pasta will do.  Alphabet pasta, macaroni, shells, or these:

Those puppies are Trader Joe's Mini Ravioli.  The. Best.


Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta, and simmer for another 15 or 20 minutes.  Then eat it.  Careful, it's been cooking for a bit so it's like lava at this point.  

So, I bet you are hoping for a picture of this soup when it's all finished, right?

Well I don't have one.  I was so ready to eat, and the family just sat down and ate, before I even thought to snap a single photo of the finished product.  It wasn't until I was in a full blown food coma that I realized I probably should have taken a photo.  Sorry about that.  Would it help if I promise to take a pic the next time I make this?  

So there you go.  If you are like me and pretty sure that the zombie apocalypse is right around the corner, this is a great one to keep stocked on your shelves.  Never know when a hearty soup might come in handy. 

Just kidding about the zombie apocalypse. Sort of.

What is your favorite soup recipe?  Can it be made and kept for a day when you really need it?


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This post was linked at the following amazing blogs:

Thirty Handmade Days
Simply Sweet Home
Ladybird Lane
Or So She Says
It's Overflowing
Be Different Act Normal
Too Much Time On My Hands
Shaken Together
My Turn For Us 
A Peek Into My Paradise
A Vision To Remember
I Heart Naptime
Nifty Thrifty Things
Under The Table And Dreaming
Raising Memories
Making The World Cuter
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Rain On A Tin Roof
Life With The Crust Cut Off


  1. I am so glad you blogged this, now I have the recipe. Thank you so much. It is so yummy.

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! We love it around here. Enjoy! :-)

  3. Thanks so much! Can't wait to make a bunch of these up!

  4. How many people will this feed? I have a family of 6, so I was wondering if this would be enough. This is an amazing idea, btw. I found you via ring around the rosies. :)

  5. Hi Jaime! Thanks so much! I find that I get about 6 good servings out of this. I feed my family of four dinner lunch the next day with this. But two of my four are smaller serving eaters. Also, I often double the recipe and make pint jars with this for nights that we have company, or to give to bigger families.

  6. This looks awesome apart from the boullion which is loaded with chemicals. I think I found a home-made healthy alternative though so will try this for when our own zombie apocalypse threatens! :)

    1. what alternative do you use for the bouillon?

    2. You can use "better than bouillon" which is a concentrated paste that you mix with boiling water to make stock. It tastes better too!

  7. Hi Cheryl. I know, I hate the boullion part, but what's a girl preparing for zombie apocalypse to do? :-) What alternative have you found?

  8. Hi,
    I love this idea, a great gift for my daughter in college who often gets home from work and just doesn't want to cook. I am also trying to stay away from bouillon I was thinking replace some of the water with chicken stock, I always keep that on hand. Thanks for the post. Have you played with other beans or other mixes?

  9. I love the idea of replacing some (all?) of the water with chicken stock. That sounds like a great solution! Also, I have a few other soup/meal jars in the works, so stay tuned for those!

    Thanks for pinning, Alice! I love making lists and always feel like the wheels are coming off. :-) Can't wait to delve into your blog a little further!

  10. Do you have any other soup jar recipes? Have you ever made it without the pasta? Being as it already has rice and barley in it, I don't know if I'd want to add the pasta too but it sounds really good even without it! Plus, I'm always looking for recipes with barley. I've never had lentils though; what are they similar to?

  11. Just saw your link over at Be Different, Act Normal's Link Party and thought I'd stop by and check out your yummy recipe! I'd love for you to stop by and link up at The Weekend re-Treat on The Best Blog Recipes! We're hosting a giveaway this week and I'd love for you to enter to win :)

    Hope to see you there!


  12. As a soup nut , it shoulda divine. I may add some powdered tomato to mine!!

  13. Thanks so much for sharing at A Peek Into My Paradise TGIF Link Party! I can't wait to see what you link up next week! I hope to see you at the (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!
    Have a terrific week!
    Hugs, Cathy

  14. Just pinned and shared on Facebook as one of this weeks features from Freedom Fridays:)))))

    Thank you for sharing!


    PS Now following via GFC:)))

  15. WOW! Thank you so much, Evelyn! I am so excited to hear that! You have absolutely made my day! Thank you!

    Hugs back!

    That was a lot of exclamation points... I am obviously VERY excited. :-)