Do you love soup, but wish it were more portable? Do you love giving gifts to your friends, but wish you could think of an edible present other than cookies, candy or bread? Do you know someone who needs a lift from a home-cooked meal, but might need even more of a lift two or three days after you were planning on stopping by with Nomz?
This soup is the answer to your problem! For the low, low price of just... well, whatever these ingredients run at your grocery of choice... you can have a soup ready in minutes--including the time it takes to tuck all the fixings into a cute gift bag and stuff in some artful foofs of tissue paper.
I brought this to Howard and Suzy to celebrate Baby Jacob's joining their family. Suzy's quote:
"Your hamhock bean soup kit was awesome...oh how I love the hock."
And you can't get a better recommend than that, ladies and gentlemen.
Giftable Bean Soup
Makes... oh, a bunch
1 pound mixed beans for soup (I used the 13-Bean Soup Mix from New Seasons)
One 1-quart TetraPak (tm?) container of chicken broth (I used the organic fancy-schmancy kind, but any low-sodium kind will do)
One smoked ham hock
One large onion, diced
Two ribs celery, diced
Two medium carrots, peeled and diced
1-1/2 tsp salt
About 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Set beans and broth aside. Place onion, celery and carrots in a small lidded plastic container (I used a clean deli container), arranging them in lovely little layers; refrigerate. Combine salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes in a small zip-top bag; add parsley to bag, seal and refrigerate.
When you're ready to go, tuck the beans and broth into a medium-sized gift bag. Take ham hock, vegetables and seasonings out of the refrigerator; add to bag. Snazzify the whole thing with a few sheets of tissue paper.
Instructions for recipient: Stick the bag (or at least the ham hock, veggies & seasonings) in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover; cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Or, if s/he doesn't have a slow cooker, combine all ingredients PLUS two cups of water in a pot; bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer about an hour and a half, or until beans are fully tender. When soup is done, fish out ham hock, let cool slightly, remove meat, dice and stir back into soup, heat through and serve.
Bean soup... the gift that keeps on giving (and giving, and giving...).