Friendship Soup Mix

When my wife and I were first married and had little money for Christmas gifts we would write out personal “coupons” for babysitting or make homemade soup mixes and baked goodies to put in gift baskets. Friends and family we gave those to could count on some delicious soups, baked items or a commitment of our time to watch their kids.

Fast forward to today and our current economy and those gifts might seem like good ideas again. So in the spirit of the season, and being frugal, The Buck List will be posting homemade gift ideas every week during December.

The first recipe is for Friendship Soup Mix. This recipe was cut out of a magazine years ago and is from Mason City, Iowa.

½ cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
¼ cup pearl barley
½ cup dry lentils
¼ cup dried minced onion
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ cup uncooked long grain rice
½ cup small macaroni

The ingredients are layered in a 1 ½ pint glass jar in the order listed above and sealed tightly. When given as a gift include a handwritten note or print out with the following instructions:

Additional Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
3 quarts water
1 can (28 oz) undrained diced tomatoes

To Prepare Soup: Carefully remove macaroni from top of jar and set aside. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven brown beef and drain. Add the water, tomatoes and soup mix and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the reserved macaroni, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until macaroni, peas, lentils and barley are tender. Enjoy!

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