DIY Holiday Gift Giving: Lentil Confetti Soup

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DK-0804 lentil soup DIY holiday gift
Truth #1: I’ve been secretly listening to Christmas music since November 1st.

Truth #2: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years dinners have all been planned since mid-October. Seriously. I may have a problem.

Clearly, I am more than excited about the upcoming holidays!
You know what I’m not excited about? The endless treats, cookies, bars and cocktails that will be coming my way from now until January 2nd. Well, maybe a little excited about the cocktails. Cranberry Champagne punch is totally worth the extra calories.

Not to get too dietitiany on you, but it’s easy to see why we all tend to pack on some extra padding this time of year. A bite here, a bit there, it can easily add up.
While I don’t chastise anyone for wanting to indulge a bit more than usual, I do recommend keeping a check on what’s worth it and what’s not.

My grandmother’s rice pudding on Christmas Day? Worth it and then some.
My neighbors slice and bake cookies that I can have any old time of the year? I can confidently pass. (Sorry!)

Which brings me to the idea of gift giving. I am a total sucker for DIY- especially food and kitchen stuff. Hello, have you seen my pinterest? Clearly I’m pretending to live a life where I craft all day long.

Since most of my friends and family are the same way, especially the adorable boxes of sweet treats as gifts, I’ve decided to take another course. Because I know that you will be bombarded with candy and sweets galore this time of year and that sometimes, a nourishing meal is exactly what’s needed after a heavy, party-filled weekend.

But this is not just any boring lentil soup. It’s confetti soup!
Which means it’s filled in pretty layers and topped off with rich spices. Add a bag of frozen spinach, a chopped onion and dinner or lunch is served. You could also get fancy and bring along a loaf of no-knead english muffin bread, this glittery wooden spoon, or my pumpkin-cranberry muffins.

Happy Holidays!


DIY Holiday Gift Giving: Lentil Confetti Soup

DIY Holiday Gift Giving: Lentil Confetti Soup


  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup french green lentils
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • Optional add-ins: 1 package frozen kale or spinach


  1. Empty contents of jar, minus spice packet, into a colander. Rinse well.
  2. In a large soup pot, saute 1 chopped onion in 1 tbsp. olive oil
  3. Add a pinch of salt to sweat and cook until translucent
  4. Add contents of the jar, spice packet, 5 cups water and 5 cups vegetable broth
  5. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  6. If using, stir in 1 package frozen spinach 10 minutes before serving.
  7. To gift:
  8. Layer barley, lentils & rice into a large jar.
  9. Combine spices and place in a plastic bag, place on top of layered ingredients.
  10. Cover, include directions, and gift to someone who needs some nourishing soup!

See below for more DIY gift ideas from some pretty awesome dietitians.

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  • Diane Boyd

    Wow, such a nice gift! Who wouldn’t appreciate a gift of soup this time of year and you have packaged it soooo beautifully??!!! Your monogram stickers are a nice personal touch!!

  • Kelly @ The Pretty Bee: Cooking + Creating

    Yum! I love lentil soup, and I love that you packaged the spices separately so everything can be rinsed. Very thoughtful.

    • DK

      Thanks Kelly!

  • Liz – Meal Makeover Mom

    What a lovely recipe. So healthy, colorful, and nutritious! And your photos make me want to make this recipe today! So cold here in Boston …

  • gretchen

    what a hearty and lovely gift… perfect for the cool weather. great idea!

    • DK

      Thanks Gretchen!

  • Kat @ Eating The Week

    I’ve never met a lentil I didn’t like, and this soup sounds like a great way to enjoy them. Glad to see there’s no actual confetti in it, tho ;)

  • Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen

    I’ve been listening to christmas music too :)

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    sounds delicious and i love the colors!

  • Ally @ Om Nom Ally

    Yum! Food mixes in jars are the best and this is exactly the kind of present I would love to receive :D
    I also love that you’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit and organising everything since October, I only wish I was that productive!

    • DK

      I don’t know if it’s productivity or craziness :)

  • Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

    What a great gift! Pretty enough to just display, let alone eat. Love your holiday spirit!!

  • Christie – Food Done Light

    Love this idea. It is not only delicious and healthy but looks gorgeous in the jar.

  • Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff

    Ooh this does look pretty! I don’t eat lentils enough. I definitely agree with you about deciding what’s worth it and what’ not!

  • Cindys Recipes and Writings

    I love lentil soup. Such a pretty display, Alex!

  • Steph @NutrishusRD

    This looks great in the jar and the bowl. A gift I would be glad to receive!

    • DK

      Thanks Steph!

  • Sarah

    We were on the same wavelength!

  • Hannah

    Personally, the “Christmas creep,” or the arrival of Christmas paraphernalia that seems to come earlier and earlier each year, drives me absolutely crazy. It’s still never too early to plan though, and I would be happy to lock down my holiday gifts well in advance. This is a great idea, especially because it would keep so well, before and after it makes it to the recipient!

  • EA-The Spicy RD

    Love this idea and so glad you made a savory gift for us all!! Funny about the Christmas music…I refuse to listen to any until after Thanksgiving, but you are welcome to help me plan out my Christmas dinner anytime :-)

  • http://Website Joanna

    Sounds delicious and such a great presentation! I’m a little confused where the vegetable broth comes in…do you put dry boullion in the jar with the spices?

    • DK

      Hi Joanna, no i don’t put any dry bouillon in the jar- although you could! I just include that in my directions, along with a chopped onion.

  • Bex @

    Oh this is such a gorgeous idea, Alex! Home-made presents are the BEST and this one looks so pretty and festive!

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly

    Can I tell you how much I LOVE this idea – Pinning now as my daughter has a slew of teachers, therapists, activity leaders we need to give gifts to this year :)

    • DK

      This theme has been so helpful in deciding what DIY gifts I am giving to everyone this year! Thanks Deanna!

  • Chef Michelle

    I love this soup idea! The food layers look great through the jar too.

  • Elle

    How cute is this! I’ve seen DIY food gifts made in jars before, but it usually involves baking and lots of sugar.

    This definitely is a much healthier alternative and much heartier. High in protein and perfect for the cold winter!

    I used to not be a big fan of lentils, but they have really grown on me.

    I especially like how you layered the lentils. The colours look beautiful!

    • DK

      Thanks Elle! I figured that most DIY gifts this year are pretty high in sugar/fat and wanted to make an alternative. Plus, who can resist a big bowl of hearty soup when it’s freezing out? :)