Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheap but good food: Post your favorite soup recipes here

I've been saying for a long time that it's possible to eat very well and very cheap by making a huge variety of soups or stews using rice and beans as your food base and adding different meats/poultry, vegetables and spices to create different recipes around the rice and beans. There are hundreds, possibly even thousands of different soups you can make using the same basic ingredients--who says soup has to be boring? I've dropped a few bucks apiece for soup recipe downloads and/or CDs on eBay and have well over 1,000 soup recipes on hand. Add homemade bread to the picture (I'd suggest stocking up on various grains so you can make your own bread--it's easy, and I'll post more about this later), and you have a complete, nutritious and very filling meal!

So I'd like to hear from you: If you have soup recipes you'd like to share on this blog to help others see how to eat well on a budget, I'll be happy to post them! I'm sure that there are a lot of other families, community organizations, soup kitchens and others who would love to have more ideas on how to feed people creatively on a tight budget.


  1. Swamp Soup - Very healthy and tasty. Easy to make using storage items. Substitute canned spinach for frozen if necessary.

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    3 stalks celery
    4 med carrots
    3 cloves garlic
    1 Tbsp dried basil
    1 Tbsp dried oregano
    1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
    45 oz. diced tomatoes
    1.5 tsp chicken or vegetable bouillon
    1.5 cups water
    1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen spinach
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    6 oz. swiss cheese

    STEP 1: Clean and chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until the vegetables have softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in the basil and oregano and cook for one more minute.

    STEP 2: Pour in the cans of diced tomatoes (do not drain) and tomato sauce. For the diced tomatoes you can either use 3 (15 oz.) cans or 1 (28 oz.) can plus 1 (15 oz.) can. The latter will probably be less expensive.

    STEP 3: Add 1.5 cups chicken broth or 1.5 cups water plus 1.5 tsp chicken bouillon. To make this a vegetarian dish, simply substitute the chicken broth or bouillon with a vegetable variety. Add the brick of frozen spinach. Allow the mixture to heat through, stirring occasionally to break up the spinach as it melts (about 10 minutes).

    STEP 4: Once the soup is completely heated through, dice the swiss cheese. Reduce the heat to low or turn the heat off completely. Drop in the swiss cheese and stir it in. The cheese will melt and become gooey but remain in clumps. If the heat is left on high, the cheese will melt too much and dissolve in. Alternatively, you can add the cheese to each bowl of soup after serving.

  2. I'm a brand new reader, having following a link from I like what I see! I have shared a link on facebook.

    I feed my family of ten wholesome meals daily, so I have collected many recipes that fit your request! Here's one:

    Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

    2 large carrots, chopped
    2 stalks of celery, chopped
    1 onion, chopped, 3/4 cup butter
    3/4 cup flour
    1 tsp. seasoned salt
    1/2 - 1 tsp curry powder
    3 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
    4 cups chicken broth
    2-3 cup chicken, cooked
    2 cup cooked rice

    In a large saucepan, saute vegetables in butter for two minutes. Whisk in flour, seasoned salt and curry until smooth. Gradually add the milk. Bring to a boil and stir two minutes. Gradually add chicken broth. Stir in chicken meat and rice. Return to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

  3. Here is a decent soup recipe. If you have the time, use dried beans. However, this is easy to make with canned, stored items.
    Bean Soup
    1 can Navy beans, rinsed
    1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed
    1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed
    1 Tablespoon dried onion
    1 Tablespoon dried carrot
    1 Tablespoon dried celery
    2 cans chicken broth
    1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
    1 cup Ditalini pasta
    Optional: diced canned ham
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Simmer the dried veggies in the chicken broth until they are hydrated and tender.
    Add rest of ingredients except pasta, and simmer. When cooked through, bring up the temperature to just above a simmer and add pasta. Cover pot and cook until pasta is tender, about 12 minutes. Do not boil soup! Soup boiled is soup spoiled, my Grandma always said.

    You can also add diced potato or a can of potatoes, rinsed and diced.

    The pasta added to the soup makes a complete protein with the beans.

  4. This is my newest find & it's GREAT!!!!

    Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

    10 c. water
    7 chicken boullion cubes
    1 t. salt
    1 1/2 t. red pepper flakes (This was too much for us so I used 3/4 t. in the 2nd batch & that was just right).
    2 t. minced garlic
    1 lb (about 10 med.) potatoes, peeled & sliced
    1 lb. Italian sausage (I only had mild so that's what I used. Still as good!)
    1 large onion, diced
    8 oz. bag of fresh kale (found in the packaged lettuce section at store)
    1 c. heavy whipping cream
    6 T. real bacon bits (not the hard crunchy ones!)

    In large stockpot, combine water, salt, boullion cubes, pepper flakes, garlic, & potatoes. Cook on medium heat, stir occasionally.

    Saute sausage & onion til done then add to stockpot, along with kale. Simmer about 20 mins. til kale & potatoes are tender.

    Add cream & bacon bits. Simmer another 10 mins.