Our Family’s Favorite “Friendship Soup” Gets a Makeover! (Trim Healthy Mama, E Meal)

Every year around Thanksgiving time our family makes Friendship Soup jars. Lots of soup jars. We give them as gifts, and we keep them on hand for easy, yummy winter meals.  And we ALWAYS have our Friendship Soup for Christmas dinner.


Recently, I’ve been eating Trim-Healthy-Mama style and easing my family into this healthier way of eating. So this year when Thanksgiving time came and I started dreaming of soup jars, I worried for a minute that I might not be able to eat my beloved Friendship Soup.  I did not want to surrender this dear family tradition!

Fortunately, when I pulled out my old recipe, I discovered that I only had to tweak 4 of the ingredients to make it a marvelous E meal fit for any Trim Healthy family!  We did a trial run, and everyone in the family loved the new version just as much as the old!

The original recipe was a combination of several recipes for Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar that I had found online.  I have had wonderful responses to the old version over the past 10+ years and have been asked for the recipe many, many times.  So here I will share the revised THM E-version of the recipe (with the old-version ingredients listed in parentheses).

Friendship Soup


  • 1/3 cup beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dried split peas
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta)
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1/3 cup brown rice (1/3 cup white rice)
  • 1 cup uncooked Dreamfields rotini, or enough to finish filling the jar (1 cup any old high-carb pasta)


  1. Layer ingredients in order in a 1-quart canning jar.  Using a funnel with about a 2-inch neck may make this easier to do.
  2. Attach a tag with the following information (you can print my pre-made tags here):

Friendship Soup Mix

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey, 97% lean for a THM E-meal  (old version–ground beef)
  • 3 qts. water
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained

To prepare soup:

  • Carefully remove Dreamfields rotini pasta from top of jar and set aside.  In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, brown turkey (or beef) and drain.  Add water, tomatoes and soup mix.  Bring to boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes.  Add reserved rotini pasta and simmer 10 minutes more.  Serves 16.


Our children love helping out with the soup jar project, especially creating jars for their tutors at our Classical Conversations homeschool co-op.  I learned (after several years of big messes) to spread a clean sheet out on the kitchen floor and let everyone pitch in.  All the spilled ingredients land on the sheet.  Then when we are finished, we just gather up the four corners and shake the spilled ingredients outside for the backyard wildlife to enjoy! (And no, rice does not make birds explode.)

13 thoughts on “Our Family’s Favorite “Friendship Soup” Gets a Makeover! (Trim Healthy Mama, E Meal)

  1. I had not heard of Friendship Soup. We are definitely trying this. What a great idea to get everybody involved, even the 2 year old. Thank you!

    1. I would say it serves at least 8, if it’s all you’re having for your meal. If you are having sides, it will go even further.

  2. I would recommend not adding the canned tomatoes until you add the pasta. There is something in tomato products that make items like potato, rice, and legume products take longer to cook. Maybe it is the acid. I am not sure. Anyway, that is what works best for me and the soup is much quicker to cook. I would like to add that this soup is wonderful!

  3. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites
    I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always exciting to read content from other writers and practice a little something from other websites.

    1. Sounds like a great class project! I use a wide-mouth quart jar. The wide mouth is especially important if you are doing it with children since it can be difficult to get the ingredients into the jar otherwise. A large funnel is also very helpful when working with children. Good luck!

  4. Hello–Thank you for posting this THM-friendly soup and gift. How many jars do you make at a time? If I buy one of each of the ingredients, how many jars do you think I can make? Many thanks! Valerie

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