Soup mixes are a wonderful gift from the kitchen for college students, Grandparents, young married couples or anyone that is new to cooking. The following combinations can be placed in jars; 1 cup of beans to each jar with a seasoning packet. Other gift suggestions are at the end of each mixture.
Mixture #1:Southwestern Beans
1 cup each of:
8 tablespoons dried basil
4 tablespoons chili powder
4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. garlic powder
8 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
Stir together beans and split into four bags or jars with one cup in each. Stir together seasoning and divide equally into 4 small plastic bags. To give place in basket or gift bag with the following recipe:
Southwestern Bean Soup
Cover beans with water, and soak overnight. Drain beans. Brown 1/2 pound crumbled Italian sausage in large pan. Add beans, 8 cups of water and 2 cups of tomato or spaghetti sauce and seasoning packet. Stir well, and bring to simmering, cover and cook for an hour and 1/2 until beans are tender. Stir occasionally.
Gift ideas: Line a wicker basket with one or two red bandannas. Place in a jar the beans and the seasoning packet, put on the lid and tie with natural raffia, using a hot glue gun carefully glue several small dried hot peppers to the raffia bow, or thread floral wire through the peppers and attach to lid. In the basket you can include two bags of cornbread mix, a bottle of hot pepper sauce (I like the brands with fun names), bowls and if you wish, a cast iron cornbread pan.
Mixture #2 Italian Minestrone
1 cup dried navy beans
1 cup dried chick-peas
1 cup dried kidney beans
1 cup dried pinto beans
8 tsp.. dried basil
8 tsp.. dried oregano
8 tablespoons beef or vegetable bouillon granules
2 tsp.. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried rosemary
4 tsp. ground black pepper
As above, mix beans and divide into four. Mix seasoning and divide equally into four small bags.
Include this recipe:
Vegetable Bean Minestrone Soup
Cover beans with water and soak overnight. Drain beans and rinse. Sauté 1/2 pound hot Italian Sausage or ground beef in a large pan, add beans, 8 cups water, 2 cups tomato sauce and the seasoning packet, and bring to simmering. Cook, covered for one hour. Add 5 cups sliced vegetables such as cabbage, green beans, onions, green pepper, carrots or yellow squash. Next, add 1/2 cup small pasta and 2 tsp. salt. Cook, covered for 20 more minutes until vegetables are tender.
Gift ideas: Place the beans and seasoning packet in a simple sewn muslin bag. Gather and tie the top with a country style fabric strip. Attach the recipe. You can also include the 1/2 cup of pasta by placing in a small plastic bag, then place in the middle of a fabric square (same country style material), gather and tie with a strip of muslin. Place both bags in a wicker basket lined with either fabric. Include soup bowls, napkins, and a bag of croutons. Also, if the person you are giving this to has a breadmaker you can include a box or bag of bread mix. Available by the cake and muffin mixes in the grocery store.
Brenda Hyde is a wife and Mom of three, a freelance writer and editor.
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