It’s time for The Recipe Redux-How low can you go? Can you make a meal for less than $3 per serving? Whatever your budget, show us your healthy entree recipe to help keep food spending in check in 2017. I went LOW with this delicious and super affordable hearty bean and bacon soup. It comes out at $1.66/serving, and it’s made mostly with ingredients you can find in your own pantry.
How this hearty bean and bacon soup will help you save money
I’d like to think that I’m pretty resourceful and thrifty in life, it’s allowed me to live well and only work part time in order to give me time to build my own nutrition practice. I’m beyond grateful for parents who taught me early on the importance of saving my pretty pennies.
I hear it all the time that it’s too expensive to eat healthy, but I’m here to show you that it’s not! Plant based protein, homemade chicken stock (is not only free, but so so much better tasting), and less expensive vegetables such as carrots and celery can allow you to eat delicious, nourishing food, and even have room in your budget for the fancy nitrate-free bacon. Yes, that was included in the price!
Turn your Hearty bean and bacon soup into a freezer meal to save time in the kitchen
Want to turn this into a freezer meal? Put everything (EXCEPT onion, garlic, olive oil, and bacon) into a freezer bag. Freeze. When you’re ready to eat this hearty bean and bacon soup. Add olive oil, garlic, and onion to stock pot and sautee, then add frozen soup mix. Cook bacon while soup is cooking. Top with fresh bacon, and enjoy.
This budget friendly hearty bacon and bean soup is easy, quick to throw together, so delicious, and incredibly affordable at ~$1.66/serving.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 whole yellow onion chopped
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 large carrots
- 2 teaspoons salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups dried great northern beans soaked overnight
- 4 tablespoons homemade chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 16 oz hearty winter greens (ie: kale, cabbage, shaved brussels sprouts)
- red pepper flakes to taste
Sautee garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook until translucent and soft, about 6-8 minutes. While sauteeing, wash and chop celery and carrots.
Once garlic and onion are softened, add celery and carrots. Cook for additional 5 minutes. While this is cooking, prepare rest of ingredients: beans, chicken stock/chicken broth.
Add rest of ingredients and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for about 2-3 hours or until beans are softened. Add more water if needed.
In the last 20 minutes of cooking, fry bacon up on a skillet. Remove bacon grease in between batches so it doesn't spatter as much.
Stir in hearty winter greens after taking soup off of the stove. Top soup with crisp bacon and red pepper flakes or green onion if desired.
You can use as much chicken broth as you would the water if you don't have homemade chicken stock. Also, you don't need to use great norther beans-use whichever kind you have available. If using canned beans, just decrease cooking time to about 30 minutes, or until broth is hot.
If you'd like to make your own chicken stock, scroll to the next paragraph of text. It's really easy 🙂
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You can also make your own chicken stock! And it’s really easy. Roast a chicken (recipe/instructions here) then simmer the bones with an onion, carrots, celery, and rosemary if you have it. Simmer overnight, and strain out the add-ins. Use right away, or freeze the rest. This is what Ina Garten does, so it’s gotta be good!
In addition to choosing less expensive food options, meal planning is one of the most powerful tools to help you eat well and for less money. You don’t waste as much, and can base your meal plans off of sale food items. It’s really a win-win. If the thought of meal planning is overwhelming to you, make sure to sign up for my hassle free simple guide to start meal planning. You can enter your info here & I’ll send it your way!
PS: this is one of the painted photography boards I made last weekend. I originally thought the white spatter would be too much, but the board I originally liked better is too plain, and this one is pretty photogenic! I’m shocked it worked out so well.
Let’s get chatty:
- what are your fave budget friendly meals?
- what would you top this hearty bean and bacon soup with?