The $10 Food Day: Tomato and Lentil Soup Recipe

Tomato and lentil soup recipe: Just $2.53 for 4 servings!

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.

First time visiting Cheap Recipe Blog? I’m thrilled that you are here! I hope you find some ideas to help you save money on food. Keep in touch by following me on Instagram.


Tomato And Lentil Soup
Yield: 4 servings

Tomato And Lentil Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

16 Responses to “The $10 Food Day: Tomato and Lentil Soup Recipe”

  1. 1

    Eileen — January 21, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    The $10 food day is such a great project idea! And yes, LENTILS. They’re one of my absolute favorites for budget-conscious and delicious meals. 🙂 The combination with tomato sounds perfect for winter–hearty and filling and warming.

    • Haley replied: — January 22nd, 2013 @ 12:47 am

      Thanks Eileen! I’d love to hear some of your ideas for using lentils! Care to share?

  2. 2

    Jessica. — January 22, 2013 @ 8:49 am

    Liturally just finished eating the soup with my fiancé. It was a massive hit. He usually complains that soup isn’t filling enough and will suck down a whole loaf of bread along side his bowl of soup. Not this time soup bowl empty and I still have half a loaf left!!!!

    • Haley replied: — January 22nd, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

      Love it! It definitely is a filling soup. Glad you could save your bread 🙂

  3. 3

    Frugal Tuesdays: Cheap and Unique Recipes using Frozen or Canned Tomatoes | carpe season — January 22, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    […] Tomato and Lentil Soup from Cheap Recipe Blog This delicious and crazy-inexpensive soup rings in at just $2.53 for four […]

  4. 4

    Ann Nuese — February 15, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

    I would love to see nutritional stats along with the recipes!! The website looks great!

    • Haley replied: — February 17th, 2013 @ 12:31 am

      Thanks Ann! I’m trying to figure out an easy way to add nutritional stats to recipes. This would be great information 🙂

  5. 5

    Robin — May 27, 2013 @ 5:04 am

    Okay, so with our summer garden bounty, onions, carrots, and tomatoes, plus homemade chicken broth, this would be really cheap with lentils from the bulk bins… I’ll wait until the tomatoes start in the garden to try this, but maybe not, I do still have some homemade tomato sauce and whole chopped tomatoes frozen from last Summer! Woo Hoo!

  6. 6

    How much lentils should I eat? | Hunger Pains — August 19, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

    […] Well Interesting bloggers: Apron strings, Start Cooking and Cheap Recipe Blog   Do you have any favourite lentil dishes? Let me know as I’m always on the […]

  7. 7

    Brittany Caroline — April 7, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    I’m trying this recipe for dinner today. I think it will be a hit 🙂 I will definitely be checking out your other budget friendly recipes. xo

    • Haley replied: — April 8th, 2014 @ 2:13 am

      Hope you liked it Brittany! It is a very tasty soup, and I still can’t get over how cheap it is 🙂

  8. 8

    This week’s Vegetarian Dish + Link | Brittany Caroline — April 7, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

    […] It literally costs around 10$ here is the link if you wanna check it out or make it yourself: here! […]

  9. 9

    dawn — April 8, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

    I make my own broth from chicken carcasses, etc, so I would like to substitute it for the bouillon, is there a way that you would recommend doing this? I am excited to try this recipe-I love tomato soup, and I love lentil soup!
    Thank you

    • Haley replied: — April 9th, 2014 @ 2:40 am

      Yes, that is totally fine! I bet the soup will taste even better with homemade chicken stock.

  10. 10

    Kristina @ Love & Zest — August 19, 2014 @ 10:15 am

    This is great!! I love your tips in this blog. I’m going to have to give this version a try— I’m all about cheap and quick eats. Thanks girl!

  11. 11

    Week 3 Eats! | It's our journey…. — August 23, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

    […] From the run-over from last week’s haul, I saved the bananas and made a 3 ingredient banana shake (You can find it HERE!) I also made a Tomato and Lentil soup […]

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