Just-Add-Water Garden Vegetable Soup in a Jar

Carrots, courgettes, tomatoes, and parsley

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 1 quart jar

Dehydration is good for more than just fruit chips and beef jerky. Dehydrated vegetables are excellent pantry staples, easily brought back into a useful state. Sometimes, they even improve, as the flavor can intensify during the drying process.

This soup recipe from "The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook" by Tammy Gangloff, Steven Gangloff, and September Ferguson captures the essence of summer vegetables to be enjoyed any time of year. The addition of ​homemade dehydrated vegetable stock deepens the flavor, or commercial bouillon can be used. Layered in a quart Mason jar, this soup can make an attractive and thoughtful gift from the kitchen. The hardest part is doing the dehydration ahead, and that's mostly passive time. Note that many vegetables may need to be blanched before dehydration to inactivate enzymes that could cause color or flavor to fade.


Steps to Make It

  1. Layer the dehydrated ingredients in a 1-quart canning jar in order: potatoes, onions, green onions, tomatoes, summer squash, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, vegetable stock. The jar should be filled to the top, and it's okay to push the ingredients down in order to fit them all. Alternatively, you can package the dried soup mix in zip-lock plastic storage bags or vacuum-sealed bags. In this case, you won't be able to layer the mixture.

  2. Label the jar with the date and contents. Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

  3. To make the soup, combine the soup mix with 16 cups (4 quarts) of water in a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the soup thickened, about 3 hours. Or combine the soup mix and water in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.


  • The dry soup mix should keep for six months if stored at 60 F, or three months if stored at 80 F, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation guidelines. Discard the mix if you see any mold or you detect off-odors when you open the jar or bag.
  • When drying vegetables, they should end up crisp so they contain only about 10 percent moisture. If you are using a recent batch of dried vegetables, ensure they are completely cooled before adding them to the jar.
  • After cooking the soup, refrigerate any uneaten portion. It should keep in the refrigerator for two to three days. You can also freeze any leftovers in individual portions to reheat and enjoy.
  • If you are giving the soup mix as a gift, print out the directions on how to make the soup and tie it to the neck of the jar in a gift card. You can use a pint jar to make a soup mix that will produce a smaller batch. Use half of the ingredients for each pint jar and layer them as directed. In your directions, note to use 8 cups (2 quarts) of water when making the soup. A smaller soup batch will be more appropriate for singles or couples who don't want lots of leftovers.