This post is brought to you by Imagine.  In partnership with Imagine, I encourage you to embrace creativity in your at-home cooking by experimenting with your own simple and approachable recipes.

These colorful mason jars layered with legumes, rice and spices make the most adorable, thoughtful and delicious holiday gifts for teachers, hosts, your favorite barista, neighbors, friends, family or really anyone on your list that would love a good cozy winter soup.  The idea behind this “Soup in a Jar” is that all you would need to add is the broth.  So your recipient would literally just dump the contents of this jar in a pot and simmer with broth following the simple cooking instructions on the tag.  It couldn’t be easier for you to make and for them to consume.  It’s really a win-win.  And we could all use that this holiday season.

This do-it-yourself handmade gift will make you feel super crafty even though it requires zero actual crafty skills.  Can you measure?  Can you pour?  Can you write small on a tag?  Then you got this.

With this soup you are giving a small gift of health to someone in your life.  You can feel good knowing you are encouraging healthful eating during this hectic time of year.  Plus, with “Soup in a Jar” your gift recipient gets to, of course, keep the mason jar.  And who doesn’t love a good mason jar these days?  There are so many perks to this food gift.  Best of all, “Soup in a Jar” is trendy but not yet overdone.

I tested out a couple combinations and the below recipe was my favorite and got the best reviews when I shared with friends and family.  The layers include (from top to bottom):

  • Spice Mix (turmeric, cinnamon, smoked paprika, dried minced onion, garlic granules, cayenne, salt and pepper)
  • Red Split Lentils (adds a naturally nutty and sweet flavor, plant-based protein, fiber, iron, potassium and folate)
  • Forbidden Rice (adds a roasted nutty taste, protein and antioxidants)
  • Yellow Split Peas (or substitute more green split peas)
  • More Red Split Lentils
  • Green Split Peas (low calorie food, excellent source of dietary fiber, good source of protein, offers vitamin A, vitamin C and iron)

See the bottom of this post for the measurements.  You can buy the ingredients in the bulk food section to make it even more affordable.

This “Soup in a Jar” is very flexible and can be modified to fit what you have on hand.  For example, if you don’t have forbidden rice in your pantry, you can substitute another rice such as brown rice.

The beauty of this gift is all you have to add is broth.  And with that, I’m beyond excited to be partnering with my all-time favorite broth brand, Imagine.  For years I have been exclusively using their organic vegetable broths.  I honestly think it is the best tasting broth out there.  It has a fresh, homemade taste with the perfect depth of flavor.  It is made with real, wholesome, all-natural ingredients and is gluten-free, Kosher Parve, USDA certified Organic and non-GMO Project verified.  I love knowing that there is absolutely nothing artificial in my broth (no preservatives or added MSG).  It contains only the good stuff from the finest farm-grown organic vegetables and savory herbs and seasonings.  And that is why I think it tastes the best.  I feel good giving this high-quality broth to my family.

This festive holiday do-it-yourself “Soup in a Jar” gift is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free and nut-free.  If you give this a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see your “Soup in a Jar” creations.


Spiced Lentil & Split Pea Soup in a Jar: A Food Gift for the Holidays

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


The recipe below is for one jar. You can form an assembly line with all your ingredients and make multiple gift jars at once.

When cooked, this recipe makes a very large batch of soup (6-8 servings). You can cut the recipe in half if your recipient will not need that large of a batch. However, the soup freezes well so I always figure the more soup the better.



  • 1/2 cup green split peas
  • 1/2 cup red split lentils
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas (or substitute more green split peas)
  • 1/2 cup forbidden rice (or rice of choice)
  • 1/2 cup red split lentils
  • Spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or sub regular paprika if you want to avoid a ‘smoky’ taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Pantry ingredients for your gift recipient to add during cooking (or you can give along with the ‘Soup in a Jar’ as part of the gift)
  • 8 cups Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth (2 cartons)
  • 1, 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (optional)


  1. To make the jar: In a mason jar layer the ingredients evenly and top with the spices. You may want to adjust the seasonings if you have a favorite spice mix. Secure the lid and add a label with the instructions listed next. Or, print the recipe that appears in the window below this recipe box and provide that to your gift recipient along with the mason jar.
  2. Front of the Label – “Spiced Lentil and Split Pea Soup”
  3. Back of the Label – “Cooking Directions: Pour all ingredients into a large pot. Add 8 cups of Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth (and 1, 15 ounce can diced tomatoes if using) and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer covered on low heat for 30-40 minutes until everything is cooked through. Stir occasionally throughout the cooking process. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add more broth for a thinner soup if desired.”
  4. The soup mix can be stored at room temperature for up to one year. The cooked soup can be refrigerated for up to four days, or frozen for up to three months.


If you are interested in a spicy version of the soup you can use this spice mix in place of the spices above:

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Or, if you have a favorite spice blend you can use your own.

If you do not want to write your own label with recipe instructions you can print the below recipe to give with the mason jar.  Simply click on the ‘Print’ button that appears below the small image in the recipe box below.