Total cost for the meal $10-15!!! (cost broken down at the end of the post)
The below recipe feeds my family of six for three meals.
This dish is great to freeze and reserve which is exactly what I do with it. When I make it for a group meal swap, so enough to feed my family and four other families, I just add more beans, carrots, kale and celery. This is now a family favourite in our home! It is also a Slow Cooker/Crock Pot meal!!
I am finding that living in a house with four males is EXPENSIVE. I can’t imagine what our food costs will be like when my boys become growing teenagers with heftier appetites, so I am working on my inexpensive feed all the tummies recipes. The bean soup creation has grown on my family.
Beth’s Bean Soup
Prep time: 20 minutes
Slow cooker: 8 hours
What you will need/Ingredients
· Beans (I usually just mix a bag of up to 12 different types of beans, but 4-5 of those are usually lentils. I love lentils. I get the black, green, white…any sort that they have for lentils)
· 3 large carrots fresh (finely chopped)
· 3 large celery ribs (organic) (finely chopped)
· 3-5 Kale leaves (organic) (finely chopped)
· 2 leaf blades and stalks of swiss chard (finely chopped)
· ½ red onion (finely chopped)
· 1 tablespoon minced garlic
· Fresh rosemary from 2-3 stems
· Fresh sage, 10-15 stems
· Bay leaves 3-4
· 1 can tomatoes
(I usually get whole or halved just some sort of canned peeled tomatoes; I’ve eaten gotten the cans of tomatoes with minced garlic and onions when I didn’t have time to chop those ingredients up individually) My favorite brand is Red Gold
· Chicken broth
(I keep mine stocked in my freezer from previous meals where I have boiled chicken) usually 2-3 cups needed.
No chicken broth just water and extra virgin oil needed
· Extra virgin oil, 2-3 tablespoons if added to chicken broth, 4-5 tablespoons if added to water
How to make
· Wash and then soak beans overnight in the fridge, water just barely covering
· Next day, drain and rewash beans in a colander
* put beans into your slow cooker
· Add water or chicken broth, until the beans are just barely covered
· Add carrots, celery, kale (I take this off the stems and tear into small pieces or finely chop), swiss chard (I cut the stalks like I would celery and tear the leaves like kale or just finally cut all of the swiss chard), onion, garlic
· Add your 2-5 tablespoons oil amount depends on whether you used chicken broth or water (see above)
· Stir and just make sure liquid is just barely covering the top of all ingredients, if not you can add more water or chicken broth
· I remove the rosemary from the stems, chop and add. Then I take the sage leaves off the stems and add.
· Final touch, add 3-4 bay leaves
(Remember to remove these when the soup is finished)
· Put the lid on the slow cooker
* Cook on low for 8 hours, I usually stir every 3 hours, but have gone nearly the whole 8 hours without stirring.
· Last 2-3 hours of cooking add the canned tomatoes
This meal is inestimable, makes many, many meals, is incredibly healthy and is veggie with protein combined.
As I mentioned before,this dish is great to freeze and reserve which is exactly what I do with it. And as food cost only continues to increase exponentially worldwide, every family can benefit with cost saving meals.
Oh and it is slow cooker which is a must for this mama!
Prepare food beforehand:
When you know you have company coming, family visiting, or a busy day/week, you can pre-cut all ingredients and place together in a plastic bag. Ingredients will stay fresh up to three days in fridge. Separately, soak beans overnight, the night before wanting to make the bean soup. The day you decide to cook the dish, empty all pre-cut ingredients from the bag into the slow cooker, drain the beans, add the beans, add your broth and oil or water and oil and set to cook for the day.
If you have picky eaters
I’m very adamant about my boys always trying new foods and at least taking “no thank you bites;” trying a dish again and again for a period of time and then reintroducing the dish at a later date. At first, not all my boys were crazy about this dish. I had one child who loved the bean soup so much he would lick the bowl clean, another child would eat some but not a whole bowl, and another child that would whine and wanted to play with his food.
One way I got two of my other boys to start eating the dish was to let them put a spoonful on a Ritz cracker (butter cracker). This helped them acquire a taste for the soup. After a few months,they also started licking their bowls clean.My husband, who had no acquired taste for soups because he was raised by a short order cooking mother, was more than willing to try my soup when I mentioned the price per serving. The money saving factor didn’t have to sell him for long as he quickly became a fan upon tasting.
Total cost for the meal $10-15 to feed 24-30 people or a family of six for four meals(that is what it feeds our family of six)!!!
The cost breaks down like this:
$2-$3 Beans 1lb
$1 1/4 of bunch of Kale
$1 1/4 of bunch of Swiss Chard
$2 for needed amount of carrots & celery
$3-$4 1/2 red onion, minced garlic, herbs
$2 canned tomatoes
$2 Broth & oil
Let me know if you try cooking up my soup recipe and what you think. Also, let me know if you add in something else and how it turned out. Here is to happy, cheaply, healthy cooking from my family to yours!