November 20, 2013

DIY Holiday Gift Giving: Lentil Confetti Soup

This lentil confetti soup makes for a great DIY holiday gift: it’s built with pretty layers and topped off with rich spices. Add a bag of frozen spinach, a chopped onion and dinner or lunch is served.

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!

Lentil Confetti Soup
Lentil Confetti Soup

Lentil Confetti Soup

DIY Holiday Gift Giving: Lentil Confetti Soup

  • Author: Alex


This lentil confetti soup makes for a great DIY holiday gift: it’s built with pretty layers and topped off with rich spices. Add a bag of frozen spinach, a chopped onion and dinner or lunch is served.

  • Author: Alex
  • Author: Alex


  • 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.

To gift:

  1. Layer barley, lentils & rice into a large jar.
  2. Combine spices and place in a plastic bag, place on top of layered ingredients.
  3. Cover, include directions, and gift to someone who needs some nourishing soup!

did you make this?

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.


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    1. Elle
      November 28, 2013 AT 10:20 pm

      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!

      1. DK
        December 1, 2013 AT 9:11 pm

        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? 🙂

    2. Chef Michelle
      November 25, 2013 AT 6:20 pm

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

    3. Deanna Segrave-Daly
      November 25, 2013 AT 3:29 am

      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 🙂

      1. DK
        November 25, 2013 AT 8:10 am

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

    4. Bex @
      November 24, 2013 AT 7:41 pm

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

    5. Joanna
      November 23, 2013 AT 6:18 pm

      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?

      1. DK
        November 24, 2013 AT 7:50 pm

        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.

    6. EA-The Spicy RD
      November 23, 2013 AT 11:45 am

      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 🙂

    7. Hannah
      November 22, 2013 AT 7:17 pm

      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!

    8. Sarah
      November 22, 2013 AT 7:50 am

      We were on the same wavelength!

    9. Steph @NutrishusRD
      November 22, 2013 AT 6:57 am

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

      1. DK
        November 22, 2013 AT 10:53 am

        Thanks Steph!

    10. Cindys Recipes and Writings
      November 22, 2013 AT 4:01 am

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