Friday, October 29, 2010

More Gifts from your Kitchen


You've seen them in boutiques, and gourmet stores; those lovely soup mixes in bags tied with raffia, or layered in jars.  Most cost about $10, but you could make several on your own for a fraction of the retail cost.  This is a great way to get your kids involved in gift giving this holiday season; even a two year old can measure beans, or lentils or split peas.
How you choose to wrap yours is up to you--sometimes I will layer them in a plastic bag, tie with raffia, and then set the mix into a soup ladle, and tie it to the ladle with additional raffia.  Or, I will layer the ingredients in a jar, cover with scrap fabric that I've cut with pinking shears, and attach the recipe to the ribbon.  The empty jar can be reused by the recipient after the soup is made (maybe for leftovers).  This soup is especially colorful as well as delicious when it's made.  I urge you to buy your beans from bulk bins in health food or natural grocers; they are generally fresher, and you can buy what you need.

Confetti Split Pea Soup Mix
Makes about 3 1/4 cups

1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups green split peas
5 chicken bouillon cubes, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
  1. Layer the ingredients in the order given into a 3 1/2 cup jar, or stir the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. 
  2. Label with a 3 month expiration date.  I like to attach a small bottle of Tabasco to the jar or bag.
Confetti Split Pea Soup
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
One package  Confetti Split Pea Soup Mix
6 cups water

  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil, and saute the onion, carrot and celery until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. 
  2. Add the soup mix, and stir to coat the peas.  Add the water, bring to a boil, and simmer, covered for 1 1/2 to hours, until the peas have split.  
  3. Season with salt and pepper if necessary, remove the bay leaf and serve. 

Of course, this gift could be part of a larger basket, with a bread mix (tomorrow) and a dessert mix if you want to round it out a bit more. Think about giving this in a stock pot, or a bean pot, for a more generous gift. I'll be back this weekend with a few more ideas for gift giving, until then, enjoy your weekend.

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