Store all items in this kit in air-tight containers in a cool, dark, dry place.
This kit was designed for use in creating foodie gift baskets. We recommend separating all the bulk-packaged items into separate jars or decorative bags, labeling them and packing them in baskets, gift bags or shipping them as care packages.
Of course, while the ingredients in this kit are well suited to soups, they can also be used in a multitude of other dishes.
See below for recipes & usage tips you can pass along to the recipients:
French Green Lentils:
French green lentils are one of the better varieties for soups as they hold their shape. They can also be used to make lentil side dishes, etc.
Pair them with ingredients like sausage, garlic, onions, vinegar (sherry or wine), mint, and/or citrus fruit.
How to Cook Lentils
Baby Butter Lima Beans:
Baby butter lima beans are delicious in bean salads, pasta & bean salads, soups, succotash & other bean side dishes.
Baby butter beans should be soaked overnight and rinsed prior to cooking. To cook them on the stovetop, bring them (in a pot of water) to a boil for about three minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot, and let them simmer until tender. One cup of dry baby butter lima beans yields about 3 cups of cooked beans.
How to Soak & Cook Dry Beans
Tongues of Fire Beans:
Tongues of fire beans are often found in Italian food (despite being South American in origin). They work well with cassoulets, stews, soups, and bean salads.
Dry tongues of fire beans need to be soaked overnight and rinsed prior to cooking. To cook them on the stove, add them to a pot of water, and bring it to a boil. Let the water boil for three minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer and covering the pot. Simmer until the beans are tender. Each cup of dry beans will yield about 2 ½ cups of cooked beans.
How to Soak & Cook Dry Beans
Orzo is a variety of pasta commonly used in soups, but it can also be cooked as you would other pasta for use in side dishes and pasta salads.
To cook orzo in soups, simply add it at the end of the cooking process and simmer for ten minutes. To cook orzo by itself, bring two cups of liquid (water or stock) per cup of dry orzo to a boil. Stir in the orzo, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for until al dente (approximately 10 minutes) then drain off any extra liquid.
One cup of dry rainbow orzo will produce three cups of cooked orzo.
Dried Pasilla Negro Chilies:
Pasilla negro chilies are a relatively mild variety (in terms of spiciness) with lots of earthy, fruity flavor. They can be ground into homemade chile powder, cooked in dishes & discarded (as you would a bay leaf), or reconstituted (then chopped or pureed).
Their stems should be removed before chopping, grinding or pureeing. Removing their seeds before adding chilies to dishes will further reduce their heat level.
How to Rehydrate Dried Chiles
How to Grind Your Own Chile Powder
More Chile Recipes & Techniques
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms:
Shitakes work well in stir-fries, soups, rice salads and side dishes. Dried shiitakes are usually either rehydrated in hot water before use or simmered in soups or stews until tender. The reconstituting water turns into a tremendously flavorful broth that can be strained and used in soups, stews, risottos or sauces.
Shiitakes also be used to add additional flavor to traditional dashi stock (how to make dashi at home) or as an umami-rich substitute for bonito when making vegetarian dashi without the dried fish flakes.
How to Reconstitute Dried Mushrooms
Shitake, Cremini & Portabello Mushroom Recipes
Dried Mushroom Recipes & Techniques