Looking for an affordable dinner to make the family that is also simple, delicious, and healthy? Think black bean soup!
Black beans are a good source of fiber and protein. You can use dry beans to make the soup, but I use canned organic ones, which are around $1.24 per can at Walmart. I used to love the black bean soup at Panera Bread, but they took it off the menu a while ago, so now I regularly make my own. I serve it with the bake at home bread from Walmart, which is around $2 per loaf (they are small, so I usually make two). Total this meal is around $14 and feeds a family of four. That's with me using organic options for the beans, veggie stock, carrot, onion, etc. If you don't use organic then it will be a little cheaper. Also, I already have the cumin, olive oil, and salt on hand, and I'm only using a little of each. The meal I serve includes black bean soup, bread, and fruit (I serve some kind of fruit with every dinner). It reminds me of eating the black bean soup at Panera Bread, but it's much more affordable for a family meal.
Simple Black Bean Soup
What you need:
3 cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups of organic vegetable stock
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tbs olive oil
What you do:
Use a large soup pot to add the olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic, and green pepper to. Heat over a medium heat until everything softens, which will take about five minutes. Add in the vegetable stock, black beans, cumin, and salt. Stir together occasionally, as you allow it to cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and use a potato masher to mash some of the beans. You don't want to mash them all, so that it is still somewhat chunky, but mash some down to make it a creamier consistency. Then it's done! You can garnish with some fresh cilantro if you want to and serve it up with some crusty bread. Yum! Leftovers make a great lunch the next day.
There are numerous variations you can do if you want to add to this. You can add in some corn, sweet potato, squash, salsa, etc. It just depends on how much you want to add and spend. I usually keep it pretty simple, but once in a while I'll add in something extra.