In a small bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. In a pint-size jar with a tight-fitting lid, layer the barley, parsley flakes, celery flakes, chives, brown sugar mixture, bouillon granules, rice and onion, packing each layer tightly (do not mix). Cover and store in a cool, dry place for up to 4 months. Yield: 1 batch.
To prepare soup: Pour mix into a large saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until rice is tender. Sprinkle with bacon bits and basil leaves if desired.