It annoys me to spend $2.50 on a can of soup. Home made soup is cheap, plentiful, full of wholesome ingredients, easy to make, and did I mention cheap?
In order to get a good soup, you have to start with a good broth. It is rare that any of us have the time or inclination to make a large vat of broth "just in case" so this means you need to find a brand you like and keep it as a pantry staple. It should be low sodium, because paying for salt water is just silly. You should be willing to drink a cup of it, because no amount of doctoring will mask a bad broth.
Here's an example of an easy soup that you can make with stuff you probably already have
Tomato Spinach Soup
2 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, minced, 1/4 cup onion in a pinch
2 garlic cloves, minced
14 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes, I have used fire roasted for a different taste
2 cups vegetable broth
5 oz baby spinach, go ahead and use frozen, but use the whole box - don't bother thawing.
Sauté shallot and garlic in olive oil until soft.
Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil.
Gather spinach in a tight pile on a cutting board and chop.
Add spinach to soup in batches and cook until wilted.
If you're using frozen spinach, just toss it in and let it go. It will take longer to cook, but so be it.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook 15 minutes to allow it to reduce some.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Or hit it with some soy sauce for some umami (try it!)
Could anything be easier than this? It makes about 6 cups. Discount the fact that you probably already have oil, shallot/onion and garlic at home.
The price tags in my pantry say:
Canned diced tomatoes $0.75
Canned Crushed tomatoes $1.67
Broth - $1.99 but that's 4 cups so let's say $1.
Frozen Spinach $0.99
That's $4.41 - the same amount of canned soup (and not even fancy gourmet canned soup) would run about $7.50 and has things in it that I'm not sure I want. Plus I get to control the amount of salt and vegetables. Have you ever separated soup to see how much meat/vegetable you really get? What? You aren't as obsessive as I am? Trust me, you would not be impressed.
So, start experimenting with soup. You can freeze it in little tubs and take it to work. Save money, eat better.
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