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Make Your Own Mixes for Soup, Seasoning, Dressing, & Dry Rubs


Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.


Three Separate Beginnings, One Common Goal

The history of dry seasonings, soup mixes, and rubs begins with not one but three individuals of differing backgrounds. But all of them had a common goal: to create nutritious, flavorful seasonings that are pure and packaged conveniently for the home cook.


In 1838, Carl Heinrich Knorr opened a factory in Heilbronn, Germany; there he and his staff dried and prepared chicory for the coffee industry. Carl began to experiment with drying vegetables and spices and, in 1873, launched the first Knorr dried soups brand across Continental Europe. In 1912, the Knorr Company introduced the bouillon cube. Home cooks could now make broth/stock without hours of simmering. Knorr products are now sold throughout the world; their website boasts that 320 million people use their products every day.


August Schilling emigrated from Bremen, Germany to San Francisco, California in 1870. There, at the age of 16, he was employed by the J. A. Folger Company (yes, the company famous for coffee). August was soon recognized as thoughtful, intelligent, and innovative and soon became a partner in the company. In 1879 George F. Volkmann joined the company as a shipping clerk. Two years later, Folger and Schilling decided to go their separate ways. Schilling and Volkmann formed the partnership of A. Schilling & Company, manufacturers of coffee, tea, baking powder, spices, and extracts.


Willoughby M. McCormick, the founder of McCormick & Company, was born on July 12, 1864, in Dover, Loudoun County, Virginia. His first job was as a clerk in a general store. From there he decided to go into business on his own in the manufacture of flavorings and extracts. In 1889 he launched his own company and just seven years later issued the first McCormick's Cookbook and purchased the F.G. Spice Company of Philadelphia. The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 all but destroyed the business, but McCormick was determined; he rebuilt and started the business anew 10 months later.

Why Make Your Own?

If prepackaged dry rubs, soup mixes, and seasonings are so convenient and easy to find, why bother to make your own? That's easy:

  • Cost: You can make your own mixes for much less than the cost of a tiny packet from the grocery store.
  • Health concerns: When you make your own you can control the amount of sodium. And, if there is a particular ingredient that you don't like (or are allergic to) you can omit it easily.
  • Portion size: Most prepackaged mixes make enough for a family of 4. What if you are cooking for 1, 2, or 6?
  • Christmas gift-giving: Homemade mixes are a wonderful way of sharing your passion for good cooking with those you love. If someone on your gift-list lives in a dorm, lives alone or enjoys camping/traveling, a collection of soup or seasoning mixes would make a great stocking stuffer.

Soup Mix Recipes

  • Potato
  • Dry onion
  • Cream of chicken
  • Cream of mushroom
  • Instant vegetarian broth
  • Minestrone
  • Creamy potato, chive, and bacon
  • Chicken noodle
  • Broccoli Cheddar
  • Pea, scallion, ginger
  • Creamy tomato basil
  • Mushroom, beef, and couscous
  • Thai coconut milk with rice

Potato Soup Mix

Based on user reviews, I have adapted this recipe from Allrecipes:


  • 1 3/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt


  1. Combine potato flakes, dry milk, bouillon granules, onion, chives, pepper, thyme, garlic powder, and seasoning salt in a bowl and stir to mix. Pour into a 1-quart jar.
  2. Attach the following instructions: To serve, place 1/2 cup soup mix in a bowl. Stir in 1 cup boiling water until smooth.

Dry Onion Soup Mix

This dry onion soup mix from TheCountryCook is a perfect substitute for the 1-ounce envelopes of onion soup mix you get at the store. Yes, of course, you can use it to make soup; it's also the basis for that "almost famous" onion soup dip.

Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom

KottintheGarden didn't like all of the unpronounceable ingredients on the label of her favorite cream of fill-in-the-blank soup. So, she devised powdered mix recipes that taste just as good but are a lot better for you.

Instant Vegetarian Broth Mix

The author of the blog LifeCurrents is a vegetarian devoted to eating healthy, recycling, and home cooking. This recipe for instant vegetarian broth is low-calorie and gluten-free. Yum yum!

And Eight More Ideas

And Eight More Ideas

Eight More Soup Mix Ideas

Here's a blog that gives us eight recipes for almost instant soups. Add the mix to boiling water, simmer, and you could have one of these to eat. Can you believe it?!

  • Minestrone
  • Creamy potato, chive, and bacon
  • Chicken noodle
  • Broccoli Cheddar
  • Pea, scallion, ginger
  • Creamy tomato basil
  • Mushroom, beef, and couscous
  • Thai coconut milk with rice

Seasoning Mix Recipes

  • Taco
  • Sloppy joe
  • Au jus mix
Taco Seasoning Mix

Taco Seasoning Mix

Taco Seasoning Mix

Rachel Paxton is my hero. She blogs at CreativeHomemaking, a site that gets over 180,000 views per month. Her homemade taco seasoning tastes just as good as the stuff you buy at the store but costs only pennies.

Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning

Shell is "not quite Susie Homemaker" and has developed a recipe for the dry seasonings you need to make sloppy joes.


  • 2 cups chili powder
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 3 tbs. dry mustard
  • 1 tbs. cumin
  • 1 tbs. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 5 tsp. beef bouillon
  • 2 tsp. pepper


Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container!

To enjoy: Combine 2 tbs. of Sloppy Joe Seasoning with 1 lb of ground beef or turkey and 1/2-3/4 cup of ketchup.

Homemade Au Jus Mix

Kitchenfullofsunshine is a cute blog with a ton of recipes and menu ideas. Jessica's recipe for homemade au jus mix (the stuff you use to make French dip) is a perfect copycat of the prepared mixes sold at the grocery store.


Salad Dressing Mixes

Macheesmo has developed three dry herb/spice blends so that you can create your own fresh and healthy Ranch, Italian, and Greek salad dressings.

Dry Rubs

Save money and express your culinary creativity by making your own dry-rub mixes for chicken and ribs.


Dry Rub for Chicken

Judy Hanneman is a professional photographer, food writer, and cookbook author. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and has created an easy-to-make, flavorful rub for roast or grilled chicken.


Dry Rub for Ribs

Carole is a "writer, storyteller, home chef, and recipe developer, budding photographer, occasional crafter who loves family and friends, parties and tablescapes, and all things blog." And she has developed a great spice rub for ribs. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you. They are all easy to find and worth putting together.

© 2017 Linda Lum


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 28, 2018:

Ronrico, thank you so much for your kind words. I too have a passion for cooking, and love sharing my expertise (not from schooling from from many, many years) , with all of you. I do hope that you will find the time to read my other articles.

I write a Question and Answer article each Monday and at least one other new article each week.

I hope you have a good day!

Ronrico Cariaga from Rizal, Philippines on May 28, 2018:

a big big big big thanks...

i've been working as cook for more than a decade only to find out that i've been missing a lot.after reading your article it seems that i had been sent to expensive school coz i really learned a lot.my passion for cooking boosted after reading all your article.thank you.

manatita44 from london on November 24, 2017:

I look forward to it. I will give it to my friend, as well. I'm always getting it to him from Heidleberg. He loves it so much!!

I'm watching my sugar though. So come up with an alternative for me.

Had a satsuma not so long ago. Sorry no apricots or nectarine. I miss my cherries. Out of season here now. Stay warm and well. Happy Thanksgiving.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 24, 2017:

Manatita - Most varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables are available year-round here in the States, but of course at certain times of the year what is available is imported from Mexico, South America, or New Zealand. The cost is ridiculous and sometimes the freshness factor is a bit lacking. Oh how I wish to have a fresh apricot or nectarine right now, but I'll have to wait until next summer.

I do hope you will try one of my simple recipes sometime. Perhaps a dry mix soup would be a good start.

By the way, I DO have a pudding recipe for you. Ask Carb Diva #8 will be published Monday morning (or late Sunday evening).

manatita44 from london on November 24, 2017:

Great and inspiring info on all those guys. Germans too. They and the Swiss are very good at that.

Your vegetarian mix seems cool. Alas!! Still eating out most times, but at last I'm now on fruits, berries, melons and fresh raw foods. Not bad so far. Much Love this weekend.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 22, 2017:

Kari and Eric - I'm glad you liked this article and yes, I think they would make great gifts. You can get creative with the packaging, attach recipe ideas, and so on.

I'm working on two more articles for gift baskets and DIY gift ideas. 'Tis the season!

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 22, 2017:

What a wonderful collection and all in one hub! I want to make some of these for people for Christmas. Thanks for all these delicious looking recipes. :)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 22, 2017:

Book marked and dogeared. What a go to hub! Wow all my family would like the rub as a gift.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 21, 2017:

Flourish, when I wrote this I was thinking about stocking stuffers, but then I started out a whole new article on THAT topic (so stay tuned). It's kinda amazing (not in a good way) how much we spend for a moment of convenience when we can really put these together on our own. Thanks for stopping by.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 21, 2017:

Craft shows are huge where I live and these type of dry ingredient gifts sell very well, often sold in mason jars or other small packages. They are usually dolled up all cutesy and the price skyrockets, but people really go for them. Imagine if they just made them at home as DIY gifts!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 21, 2017:

Thanks, Kristen. And now that the standards for high blood pressure that been amended I think we need to be even more vigilant about reducing salt in our diets. This is one way to address the problem.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on November 21, 2017:

Linda, I love this hub. And you're right. It's healthy and cheaper to make your own. I've been making my own crockpot soups (that I've found online) and hope to mae my own seasonings in 2018. Two thumbs up!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 21, 2017:

Bill, that makes me so happy. I assume you have a grill? Lucky you (ours deteriorated years ago and I refuse to purchase a new one until we have an actual place to put it (we're still working on a re-design of the back deck).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well. We have much for which to be thankful.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 21, 2017:

Now that was not only interesting but informative and useful. I'll be trying the dry rubs for sure...thanks, Linda, and again, Happy Thanksgiving!

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