The $10 Food Day: Tomato and Lentil Soup Recipe
Looking to drastically cut your food budget? Start incorporating more lentils into your diet. Not only are lentils super healthy – they are also ridiculously cheap. One big bag of lentils – enough to make about five or six lentil-based meals – costs right around $1.40.
I gave this soup – inspired by Love and Zest – a cheap recipe makeover. I cut back on the spices, opting to use what I already had on hand. I also used ketchup instead of tomato paste, so I wouldn’t have to open a brand new can to use just a small amount.
This Recipe Is a Part of the $10 Food Day Series
What is the $10 Food Day? Four recipes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack) that will feed a family of four for less than $10 per day. View the other recipes:
Tomato and Lentil Soup: The Cost
- Onion (1 medium) = $.30
- Carrots (2) = $.20
- Lentils (3/4 cup) = $.42
- Chicken bouillon cube (1 large)= $.20
- Canned tomatoes (14.5 ounces) = $.99
- Tomato sauce (2 tablespoons) = $.17
- Spices (approximate cost) = $.25
Total cost of recipe: $2.53
Cheap recipe tip: Purchase carrots and onions in a bag instead of buying them individually.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 cup brown or French lentils
- 1 large or 2 small chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes
- 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (or ketchup, in a pinch)
- Paprika and garlic powder, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large saucepan, saute onions and carrots in olive oil until they begin to soften. Add water and lentils. Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until lentils begin to soften. Add boullion cube and stir to dissolve. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and desired seasonings. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes or so, until lentils are completely soft and flavors are blended together.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender, let the soup cool and transfer to a blender to puree. Reheat soup before serving.