I love soup. I love making soup. I love all types of soup. I don’t like expensive ingredients though. Hence, here is my very economical recipe for two of my favorites: Taco & Chili, both is one pan…or my favorite, a crockpot.
ECONOMY SOUPS DON’T NEED TO TASTE CHEAP!
Here is the breakdown of my recipe as I bought these ingredients today, at my local Wal-Mart.
- 1 lb hamburg, 80/20 mix. $2.87
- 1 can chili beans .50
- 1 can black beans .50
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes .50
- 1 can green enchilada sauce 1.58
- 1 qt. beef broth (use 2-4 cups broth) 1.52
- 1 can corn .50
- 1 packet taco seasoning mix .34
But I also can’t forget the ingredients I have on hand:
- 1 stem celery, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced thin
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tbs. oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- Chili powder
If I guess the cost, I will guess high and say $1.25. Added to the $8.31, my large batch of soup will come to less than $10.
Cooking for just my husband and myself, we will get at least three meals out of this pan. In my thinking, any time I can keep the price of the main dish of my meal under $5, it’s a win for me.
The directions for the soup include:
Slice carrot thin, dice the onion and slice celery thin. Cook over medium heat in 1 Tbs. oil. Allow veggies to soften. Add burger to veggie mix. Add sliced garlic. Brown burger and set aside until all other ingredients are ready.
In soup pot, bring canned items, meat mixture, and spices to simmer. Allow to cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Serve.
OR- put all ingredients in crockpot and allow flavors to meld all day as it cooks and you go about your business for the day. Allow it to cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
Now for a few cost saving ideas!
Forego the meat and add another can of beans.
Stretch the meat by using half the recipe. The flavor is still there and you may not miss it.
This recipe could be stew with adding only 2 cups broth, it becomes a soup with the full 4 cups.
Add the full 4 cups broth, then add rice or macaroni half hour before serving. It makes for a fuller plate and stretches the entire meal in a relatively inexpensive way.
I like to buy burger on sale and buy in bulk when available. If you can find burger at reasonable prices, buy more than one pound. When you cut the veggies, multiply the veggies you need by the amount of burger you will be cooking. When meat is browned and cooled slightly, store one pound of the meat/veggie mixture in zip lock bag, label bag and store in freezer. Then next time you want to make soup, you will have this base at your finger tips.
Carrots are cheaper if you don’t buy the smaller, prepared variety. It only takes a few extra minutes to slice and dice. Buy carrots by the pound, unprepared.
Celery is often on sale at the two big feeding holidays…Thanksgiving and Christmas. Look for individual stalks and stay away from celery hearts. One large stalk is most often less expensive. Celery can be easily sliced and frozen individually, then bagged, you can use the entire stalk without waste.
I bought taco seasoning by the packet, which isn’t the most economical, just the fastest. There are many recipes on the internet for spice mixtures of all types. The most economical mixture is the one you make yourself. I buy my spices at the local Amish store. If the spices are packaged in too large a container, they will repackage a smaller amount. This may be available in your area and I have found it a way to keep my spices fresh and current in the cupboard.
Leftovers are easily frozen for a later meal. When thawed, serve it as soup or try cooking the soup a little longer until slightly thicker. Use as a topping for corn chips, adding shredded lettuce, shredded cheese and sour cream. Makes for an excellent taco salad.