Tuesday, November 28, 2006

HOLIDAY GIFT: Friendship Soup in a Jar

Quite a few years ago, I stumbled upon this recipe on the internet when looking for an inexpensive gift to give the ladies in our playgroup. There were six of us, we always got together every other week. All of our kids were the same ages. Every other Tuesday, we'd get together, have lunch, let the kids play together and make a disaster of my house (and I LOVED every single second of it). This can be layered in a quart sized Mason jar (which, BTW can be bought by the case if need be bringing the cost down to about 70 cents a piece). This particular year, I did not have enough to get mason jars for them, so I layered the ingredients in quart sized ziploc baggies with a Christmas Theme. I had also had several large scraps of Christmas fabric that I sewed into bags. I then losely sewed a peice of embroidery floss to create a pull string. I printed the instructions on Christmassy paper and put inside the bag before closing up. That week we got together for lunch, I made the soup for everyone to enjoy, then gave them their gift. It was a huge hit. A couple years later, after we had moved to AZ, I made it also for my playgroup there. This time, again, did not have the money for the jars so I bought the quart sized Ziploc containers, layered in the ingredients, I also gave it with a packet of biscuit mix. I did not make the bags this time, I put them both in Christmas bags and tissue paper that I bought at the dollar store. It was again a big hit.

The ingredients are inexpensive, the flavor is outstanding. Another way to give this gift would be layered in the jar with a nice set of soup bowls and a bisquit mix for baking with the soup. Maybe some cool spoons too.

Well, here goes it!

Friendship Soup in a Jar

1/2 cup dried split peas
1/3 cup beef boullion granules
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/4 cup dried onion flakes
2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta (alphabet, orzo, ditalini, small elbows or shells)

In a quart jar, layer the ingrediens in order up thru the rice. Place the pasta in a square of plastic wrap and bring the ends together and twist (this will keep the pasta from mixing with the other ingredients in the jar too soon). Seal tightly. Cover the lid with a cirle of fabric, secure with a rubberband, then write out the instructions on the card and secure around the lid with ribbon (this will cover up the rubber band).

The label attached should read:


1 lb ground beef
3 quarts water
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6 oz can tomato paste
Pepper & Garlic to taste

To prepare the soup:

Remove pasta from top of jar and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic, drain any excess fat. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water and soup mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the reserved pasta, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes more or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barly are tender.

Now, as you can tell, this makes A LOT of soup - that's why it's called friendship soup - you'll need a lot of friends to help you eat it!!! :D


At 11:11 AM , Blogger KFarmer said...

What a wonderful idea! I've heard of the cookies, but never a soup. I'm gonna try it!

At 10:45 AM , Blogger kbabe1968 said...

THANKS K! :) I hope you like the soup and that if you give as gifts it's a huge success!

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