If you are anything like me, then all you want to eat through the winter months is soup with hot crusty bread. Not only is soup cheap, easy to make and healthy, you can eat tons of vegetables in one bowl without really even realising it. This is one of the cheapest soups you can make.
I have been getting lots of requests for budget recipes recently, and I know the next few months is going to be tight for many of you with Christmas coming up, so there are going to be lots more budget recipes that are healthy too.
There are many TV shows, recipe books and blogs out there that do budget meals, but what a lot of them class as budget is not what I class as budget. I saw one post about a budget meal for £1.50 per person – I try to keep my budget meals at around 30-40p per person.
Lentils are a really good budget ingredient and you can buy them in bulk at health food stores to make them even cheaper. Like other pulses, they are a good source of protein and they are low in fat too. I like to add lentils to other dishes like curries or pies to bulk them out in replace of some of the meat to save even more money.
Unless I am just having a snack, I wouldn’t usually just have a bowl of soup by itself. I either have it as a starter, or have a couple of slices of homemade bread with it to make it in to a meal.
There are lots of variations of this soup that you can make, depending on what spices and herbs you use. You could give it a Mexican twist by adding some coriander and jalapenos.
Ingredients for this Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup – Serves 2:
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 small onion, diced
– 250g carrots (about 3 medium), peeled and diced
– 75g/ 3/8 cup dried lentils (any colour is fine)
– 0.5 tsp ground cumin
– Half a tsp of diced red chilli
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 2 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
– 800ml/3.5 cup boiling water
– A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
– 2 tbsp of Greek yoghurt to serve
1) Add the oil to a large pan and once hot, add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
2) Add the carrots and lentils to the pan and cook for a further 30 seconds.
3) Add the rest of the ingredients, except the Greek yoghurt, and simmer for 20 minutes. If it starts to look a little thick, add a little more water.
4) Blend the soup until smooth and serve in bowls with Greek yoghurt on top.
Week 42 of my AXA PPP healthcare 52 Little Things challenge is to celebrate the humble root vegetable. Root vegetables are perfect for Autumn and winter as they are filling and comforting and also really budget friendly too. So my challenge to you is to get creative with them, starting with this soup.
What is your favourite soup at the moment? Leave a comment below.
Nutritional Information – per person:
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