As the weekend approaches, my thoughts turn towards hospitality. It’s easy for me to make excuses to not have people over: too tired, too busy, house too messy, too limited with resources, etc. etc. etc. But, I know that pushing through those excuses is good for both me and my family.
On the birth of my first child 13 years ago, I was given a gift basket which included this simple, humble soup mix. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this soup! I don’t even know where it originated. I’m assuming that it’s called Friendship Soup because it feeds so many.
Here’s how you make it:
1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup onion flakes
2 teaspoons Italian-style seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 cup (or more) uncooked pasta
2 bay leaves
1.) In a quart jar, layer the split peas, bouillon, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasonings, rice and bay leaves. Place macaroni on top and seal tightly.
2.) Attach a label to the jar that reads: “Additional Ingredients: 1lb. ground beef, 3 quarts (12 cups) water, 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained, 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste.”
Remove macaroni from the top of jar and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef and drain excess fat. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water and soup mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the reserved macaroni, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni is done. Season to taste. Note: putting the macaroni in a sealed sandwich bag makes it so much easier to remove. Also, I prefer to cook the macaroni separately (less mushy for leftovers!).
So, push the clutter under the couch, dim the lights and invite your loved ones over for this simple yet satisfying meal. You’ll be happy you did!