Friday, March 21, 2008

Frugal Cooking

One of my favorite frugal cooking tips is to cook soups. They are easy to make and can make enough for a number of servings, not to mention they're very healthy! I cook soup at least once a week and use the leftovers for lunches. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Sweet Potato Bean Soup (From Taste of Home)
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t minced fresh cilantro
1 t ground cumin
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.75 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
2 c water
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped

Place sweet potato in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 13-18 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid. Cool slightly. Place sweet potato and reserved liquid in a a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Set aside.

In a small saucepan with a little bit of water, cook green pepper, onion and garlic until almost tender. Stir in cilantro and cumin; cook until vegetables are tender. Add the beans, corn, water, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and reserved sweet potato puree; heat through. Garnish wiht green onions and tomato. (For a thinner soup, you may want to add another can of tomato sauce.)

Black Bean Soup
3 cans (15 0z) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 c vegetable broth
1 cup fresh salsa
1/4 t ground oregano
1/4 t chili powder (more to taste)
several dashes hot sauce (optional)

Reserve 1 cup of the beans in a separate bowl. Place the remaining beans, the vegetable broth and the salsa in a blender jar. Process until fairly smooth, then pour into a saucepan. Add the reserved beans to the saucepan with the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Adjust seasoning to taste before serving. (I always double this recipe.)

Mexi Soup
1 onion, chopped
1/3 c water
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, undrained
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, undrained
1 can (16 oz) creamed corn
1 c vegetable broth
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 T taco seasoning
several dashes hot sauce

Place the onion and water in a large soup pot. Cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Corn & Cheddar Chowder (from Grandma's Kitchen)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 T butter
2 T flour
2 1/2 c chicken broth
1 (16 oz) can cream-style corn
1 c frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 t hot pepper sauce
3/4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
freshly ground black pepper, optional

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes. Sprinkle onion wiht flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Add chicken broth to saucepan; bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Add cream-style corn, corn kernels, bell pepper and hot pepper sauce; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer chowder an additional 15 minutes. Remoe saucepan from heat; gradually stir in Cheddar until melted. Ladle into soup bowls; sprinkle with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately. Garnish chowder with additional chopped bell pepper and fresh parsley, if desired. For a milder chowder, omit hot sauce and substitute a milder type of Cheddar. (Sometimes I add a couple of potatoes, peeled and cubed. I also usually double this recipe, too.)

These recipes make quite a bit of soup (especially if doubled), and I will make them for dinner and then eat them for lunch for several days.

For more frugal tips, be sure to visit Biblical Womanhood!


Jenny M said...

Yum...those look so good. I really want to try the sweet potato one!

Mom2fur said...

Oh, man, if I could eat beans (I can't...I have an ulcer) I'd make your black bean soup in two seconds. I used to love it. Your recipes looks delicious!

BarbaraLee said...

Those all sound so good but I have such picky eaters I would be the only one eating. I do make alot of soups though.

Anonymous said...

They all sound good. I'm going to start with the first one, I just put the ingredients on my grocery list so we can try it this week. Thanks! Amy

Melissa said...

We found that if you eat sandwiches for lunch (just 2 slices of bread, lettuce, lunch meat and a slice of cheese) is very cheap for lunches. I have stopped cooking too much and we have cut back a lot of money out of our grocery bill.