Full disclosure, sometimes this girl on a budget’s idea of a cheap dinner is opening a bottle of wine and calling it a night. But I’m supposed to be an adult now and drinking your dinner is neither classy nor nutritious. So what’s a delicious way to serve a hearty meal on a shoestring? Soup! This delicious black bean soup to be specific.
I hit Trader Joe’s for my groceries this week, here’s the run down:
For the soup (Enough for 6-8 good size servings):
1 package good bacon, finely chopped – $3.99
2 onions, chopped – $1.79 for 2lbs.
6 garlic cloves, pressed – $1.29
16 oz. chicken broth – $2.29
1 can diced tomatoes – $1.49
4 (15 ½ oz.) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed – $3.56 total
1 bunch cilantro – $1.69
1 lime – $0.29
Assuming you have somewhat of a stocked kitchen, you may have these pantry items on hand (AKA no cost):
½ Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ Tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
sharp cheddar (8 oz. to be grated at home) – $3.95
nonfat plain greek yogurt – $2.99
cilantro (also used in the soup)
scallions – $1.29
Start by cooking the bacon in a big soup pot over medium heat. When the fat begins to render out and the bacon looks nice and crispy add the chopped onions. (Note: my bacon was rendering A LOT of fat so I poured some of it out for use at a later date.)
Cook until the onions turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add the broth, spices, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and tomatoes. Stir in the beans and bring the heat to high. Bring it to a high simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, maybe a touch longer. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
At this point I pulled out the immersion blender to puree the soup but you could absolutely leave it as is – rustic and chunky. To finish it off stir in the juice from one lime and finely chopped cilantro.
I made a quick garnish with nonfat plain Greek yogurt – simply mix scallion, cilantro, s&p, squeeze of lime juice and a bit of garlic into the yogurt – tangy with a kick!
Top with a little (or a lot, no one’s judging here) cheese and dig in!
Total price for the soup: $24.62 – assuming you get 8 servings out of it, that comes to $3.08/per bowl. That’s a number I can get behind!