I have a group of friends that I get together with every once in a while, and the last time we all met, everyone preferred to gather at a local restaurant instead of one our homes like we normally do. When I asked them why, they answered that after the holidays they were tired of hosting at home.Many times when we host meals in our home, we expend extraordinary amounts of energy and end up terribly exhausted by the end of the evening. So this week, I’m providing my readers with five simple recipes made from ingredients we all have on hand that don’t require too much effort.The first dish is a robust vegetarian bean soup. All you have to do is add all the ingredients and let it cook all by itself. The second recipe is for green beans with mint and garlic, and the third one is sliced potatoes with herbs. The main dish is a rump roast with stir-fried vegetables. Of course, no meal would be complete without something sweet, and all you have to do for the recipe below is buy chocolate cups (and store them in a cool, dry place) or prepared mini-tarte pie crusts. Just cut up some seasonal fruit, and whip up some cream.These short, easy recipes will help you host in style, but without working too hard or exhausting yourself. VEGETARIAN BEAN SOUP Makes 6-8 servings 500 gr. (3 cups) white beans that were soaked overnight and then drained 10 cups water 1 large onion, chopped finely 2 carrots, sliced 2 stalks of celery, sliced into 3-cm. pieces 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped into small cubes 3 Tbsp. tomato paste 4 Tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp black pepper 1 tsp. sugar 2 Tbsp. parve chicken-flavor soup powder 2 Tbsp. onion soup powder A bunch of coriander, chopped finely Parsley or basil for decoration Place the beans in a large pot. Pour the water on top and bring to a boil over a medium flame. Remove the foam that forms.Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bring back to a boil and then lower flame to the smallest flame possible and cook for 2½ or 3 hours. Adorn bowls with coriander and serve with whole grain bread.GREEN BEANS WITH MINT AND GARLIC (Note: Do not overcook green beans.) Makes 6 to 8 servings.1 kg. fresh green beans 4 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large onion, sliced thinly 6 cloves of garlic, crushed Juice from ½ lemon 1 tsp. cumin Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup – ¼ cup water 5 sprigs of mint, chopped finely Rinse the green beans well and cut off ends. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add the green beans and stir. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Add the lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir. Add the water, cover and cook over a low flame for 20 to 30 minutes until green beans are soft. Check every once in a while to make sure there’s enough liquid. (Make sure not to add too much water.) Add the mint and stir. Serve hot.SLICED AND ROASTED POTATOES Makes 6 to 8 servings.6 medium potatoes (with skin) ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup canola oil Coarse salt and pepper, to taste 1 Tbsp. sweet or spicy paprika (or ½ tsp. ground chili pepper) 2 to 3 sprigs of oregano ¼ cup parsley, chopped Preheat your oven to 250º. Cut potatoes into quarters or eighths lengthwise. Arrange them on a tray covered with baking paper with skin facing down.Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Stick oregano in between potatoes pieces.Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle parsley on top.RUMP ROAST WITH STIR-FRIED VEGETABLES Makes 6 to 8 servings.10 Tbsp. olive oil 800 gr. rump roast or sirloin, cut into strips 6 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips 6 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped 2 Tbsp. honey 2 Tbsp. silan 1 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce ¼ cup soy sauce 1 tsp. Dijon mustard with granules 1 Tbsp. brown sugar Salt and pepper, to taste 1 package (800 gr.) frozen vegetables 1 Tbsp. light and black sesame seeds Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a wok and fry meat strips for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl.In remaining oil, fry red pepper and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes and then remove from flame. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the vegetables and sesame seeds. Mix. Turn flame back on and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetables and fry for 5 minutes. Add the meat and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour sesame seeds on top, mix and serve hot.CHOCOLATE CUPS / MINI-TARTES Makes 16 servings.250 gr. (1 container) sweet whipping cream 1 package instant vanilla or chocolate pudding 1 cup milk 16 chocolate cups Seasonal fruit (kiwi, oranges, strawberries, grapes, etc.) Mint Whip the sweet cream together with the instant pudding and milk until firm. Transfer cream to an icing bag and fill chocolate cups. Cut up fruit and arrange on top of cream. Decorate with mint leaves. Store in fridge until serving. Prepare the mini-tartes in the same fashion.Translated by Hannah Hochner.