I recently tried a brilliant recipe I found on Not Delia. It's really simple, easy to cook, very cheap and pretty nutritious. (It is also vegan if you use either vegan margarine or oil to soften the veg.)
The recipe can be found here and uses some seriously cheap ingredients:
- 250g split red lentils - £2 for 2kg, so can be as cheap as 25p. 60p buys a 250g pack.
- One onion - 19p
- One carrot - 9p
- 1.5 litres of vegetable stock – Can be free if you use water used to boil veg, or if you use stock cubes like I did then 10p for a pack of 10 stock cubes, of which you will need 3, so 3p.
- Margarine/oil – probably freely available in your kitchen.
Total cost = 56p (or up to 98p to buy the full packages of lentils and stock cubes), which is 14p per portion.
(Prices from Tesco's website, so could be even cheaper elsewhere!)
The recipe analyser on Calorie Count shows that this soup is pretty good for you (grade A). It's low in calories, high in vitamin A and super-dee-duper high in fibre.
The biggest problem with it is the sodium content, which pretty much all comes from the stock cubes. If you have homemade stock yours should be even better!
I love the simplicity of the recipe. You basically just soften the chopped vegetables in the oil/margarine and then boil everything in stock for half an hour. I didn't even need to blend it; it was a nice thick soup but not too chunky!
One tip I will add is to slice the carrots as thinly as you can. This will let them break down in the soup more easily. I could nearly see the chopping board through mine!
There are only two of us, but I made the full four-person's worth. You can either freeze or refrigerate the leftovers for a homemade ready meal another day. The Not Delia website has a few different ways to jazz this soup up with other ingredients too.
For 14p a portion I would definitely make this soup again. It was one of the nicest soups I've had!
Anyone got a suggestion for more ways to jazz this soup up? I think meat-eaters might want to try adding some bacon pieces to it; apparently lentils and bacon is a brilliant combination. Let me know if you try the soup!