Budget-Wise, Versatile Soup

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Ok, new year, new resolutions – empty wallet. Right?  I think that lots of folks overspend at Christmas and are feeling the painful pinch in their budget about now so I’m going to devote the month of January to meals that are cheap to make but still very healthy.  I try to keep cost in mind all through the year but this month (and maybe next month, too) I’m concentrating on creating some dishes that will help ease the strain on your grocery bills.

Budget Friendly, Versatile Soup

 Have you ever seen this soup in a bag before? I would never have noticed it if not for a lady at the grocery store pointing it out to me.  She mentioned that she’s on a strict monthly pension and has to cut corners and this soup mix does the trick for her.  I was skeptical at first and have to admit I feigned interest but didn’t buy it.  Well, I went and found it for this week’s recipe and am I ever glad I did.  I’m sold!

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This little bag of healthy goodness can save you lots of money while still adding loads of flavour and protein to your soup.  It only cost $1.89 in Canada so I’m guessing in the US it will cost about $.99.  Your food is SO much cheaper than ours!  It contains dried barley, green split peas, green whole peas, yellow whole peas, black beans, romano beans, brown lentils, yellow split peas, and red lentils.  The great thing about this is that you can simply rinse the soup mix in cold water and add to boiling water or you can use it as a base to create whatever soup you like.  I did both!

I used organic vegetable broth instead of water and added fresh parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper.  It had a complex, savoury set of flavours that would satisfy any appetite and perfect for lunch or a starter for dinner.  Easy and simple and healthy and cheap!  I’m loving this!

Next I added carrots, celery and onions and cooked for an additional 30 minutes.  I left the leaves on the celery stalks because they contain additional nutrients that you want in your soup.  You can use a strainer to remove them at the end if you like.  You will likely find the need to add additional broth or water at this point.  All in all, I used 8 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water.

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 Budget Friendly, Versatile Soup

 The next day I made the final transformation to this versatile soup.  I added fire-roasted tomatoes, gemelli pasta and leftover turkey.  This turned the soup into a hearty meal that would be perfect with a salad for dinner.  I loved the robust flavours of all three soups and I will be using this soup mix often in the future.  There is so much fun to be had with this!  You can create your own soup by adding whatever ingredients appeal to you – kale, spinach, chicken, squash, parsnips, red peppers – the possibilities are endless!   I hope you’ll try this for yourself.  I’d love to hear what you think.  Cheers, everyone.

Update: I’ve been looking for the American equivalent of this soup mix because it’s a Canadian company and I think it’s only available in a few states.  So far I’ve come up with Bob’s Red Mill Soup Mix (gluten free).  If my American readers know of any other brands, I’d really appreciate it if you could pass on the information here.

(Note:  All opinions of this product are my own. I did not receive any compensation from NuPak.)

 

Budget-Wise, Versatile Soup
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup soup mix (I used NuPak)
  • 6 cups organic vegetable broth (or water, or chicken broth)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2 stalks celery, diced, leaves included
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • handful of baby carrots, chopped
  • additional 4 cups of water or broth (to be added later if needed)
  • OPTIONAL
  • 1 cup gemelli pasta
  • 1 cup shredded cooked turkey
  • 1 16 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
Instructions
  1. Rinse 1 cup of soup mix in cold mix and add to 6 cups of boiling water or broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes.
  2. Add other ingredients as desired and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  3. You may need to add additional liquid. I used a total of 8 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water.

 

49 Comments

  • Reply
    Balvinder
    January 4, 2014 at 9:54 am

    This sure is a delicious and versatile soup for the wallet. Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks, Balvinder! I was so surprised to find such an easy, healthy way to make a quick soup. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  • Reply
    Nina
    January 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I think that ís a very delicious soup! I always try to keep in mind the cost/ benefit factor as you did!

    Those pictures were taken far away from home, in Andorra, a little country next to Spain and France. Here, in Portugal, aii the snow you can find is on mountains tops!

    I wish you a happy, budget-wise 2014.

    Beijinhos, querida!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 6, 2014 at 4:53 am

      Thanks, Nina! I know Andorra but had not seen pics before – it’s beautiful!
      Happy New Year, my busy friend!

  • Reply
    Mindy
    January 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I love that you included a budget friendly recipe that is both nutritious and looks delicious! I will look for this soup here in the states.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 6, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Thanks, Mindy. I love creating cost efficient recipes because the price of food has always driven me a little crazy, lol. You would not believe what we pay for fresh fish up here – yikes! Much better to just drop a line when you are out on the boat. I added some info about a similar product in the US and there are many stores in Oregon that carry it. I hope one is near you. Have a great day, my friend.

      • Reply
        Mindy
        January 10, 2014 at 9:14 pm

        Oh, yes, we have Bob’s Red Mill products here but I have never looked at their soup mix. I love their flours, oat brans and meals. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Nina
    January 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Have a nice Sunday, my sweet friend and try this pudding receipt! You’ll not be desapointed!
    Beijo, querida

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 6, 2014 at 4:57 am

      I definitely will, Nina! I have not stopped thinking about it, lol. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    SizzleandZoom
    January 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I am amazed what you can do with food. I have never seen this in my market. Will have to pay more attention.

  • Reply
    turnips 2 tangerines
    January 6, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Wonderful recipe~ I love soup and yours looks delicious~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 6, 2014 at 5:22 am

      Thanks so much, Lynn. I love your recent post about butter – great ideas!

  • Reply
    Jayne
    January 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Robyn Thanks we do not have Nupak in the states but lots of Bob’s Red Mill products. I’ll check it out

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 8, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Let me know what you think, Jay. Survive the storm? Talk soon. xoxo

  • Reply
    Linda @ A La Carte
    January 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I live in the US and I’m going to be looking for something like this product. I love to make soup and this bean mix would be great!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 8, 2014 at 7:01 am

      I can’t believe more people haven’t heard of this, Linda. It’s such a time saver and it was delicious. Thanks for visiting.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    January 8, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Maybe I’m in a soup mood because of the time of year and the weather, but I gotta tell ya’, this sounds delicious! I found the minestrone was my favorite dish from my blog last year, and this (the beans) would be a perfect addition to that! Thanks for sharing on Share Your Stuff Tuesday! HUGS!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks, Cheryl. I’m so excited about finding this and from reading the comments it seems a lot of us had no idea this was available. Thanks for your visit.

  • Reply
    Samantha @ Five Heart Home
    January 8, 2014 at 10:57 am

    This looks hearty, healthy, and cozy on a cold day like today! And the fact that it’s budget-friendly as well is a total bonus! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Robyn
    January 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the visit and kind words, Samantha. It’s a pleasure to join your party.

  • Reply
    Carrie This Home
    January 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    My mom used to make a bean soup similar to this and now I know why–it’s healthy and inexpensive! I need to try this! Thanks so much for sharing this at Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 10, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Don’t you love it when you can do both? Thanks for visiting, Carrie!

  • Reply
    Diane (@SimpleLivingEat)
    January 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Wonderful looking soup, so flavorful, love the fire roasted tomato option. thanks for sharing it with us on foodie friday.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 10, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Always a pleasure to link up with you, Diane. Have a great Friday.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Becca
    January 10, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Looks good! My mom made some similar, with that bean variety mix. I don’t normally like soup, but it was good. Thanks for sharing this at the Healthy Tuesday hop. 🙂

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 10, 2014 at 8:54 am

      Don’t like soup?!? Becca! You MUST do something about that, lol. I’m thinking you just haven’t found the right one yet! Have a great Friday.

  • Reply
    Susan Brahs (@SusanBrahs)
    January 10, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Your soup looks so good! When the weather gets chilly, we love having soup for dinner. So I’m always looking for new recipes. Thank you for sharing @ Let’s Get Real!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      My pleasure, Susan and thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    January 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your awesome Soup with Full Plate Thursday, and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks, Miz Helen. It’s always a pleasure to link up with you on Thursdays. Have a great day.

  • Reply
    dadriscoll
    January 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Robyn, this looks so tasty. Frugal and tasty a great combo. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks, Danielle, and thanks for visiting. Hope you’re having a great weekend.

  • Reply
    Kerry C
    January 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Your versatile looks so good. We would love for you to share it with us on our link party, Saturday Dishes. http://www.coffeewithus3.com/soups-saturday-dishes/

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks, Kerry. See you there!

  • Reply
    mommyondemand
    January 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Looks great! Im always looking for a new soup..I love all the colors involved! Thanks for coming over and sharing at Happiness is Homemade Link Party, Hope to see you back in the morning! http://mommyondemand.com/

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks for your kind words. Always happy to link up with a party that is all about homemade.

  • Reply
    Andi @ The Weary Chef
    January 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    What a great idea to have a budget friendly dinner series, Robyn! I can’t wait to see what else you bring us in January 🙂

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Andi.
      You know I’ve discovered that finding the sales first and then deciding what to cook can save you so much money. Am I late to the party or does everyone shop this way? lol. Anyway, I’m going to spend a lot more time watching the sales instead of complaining about the cost of food. I feel like I’ve found a whole new way to cook! lol. Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    Camila
    January 12, 2014 at 8:28 am

    It looks so Yummy. It’s a great recipe for a dinner. We like to have this kind meal at dinner, soups or sandwich. This could definitely join our menu!

    XOXO
    Cami

  • Reply
    Robyn
    January 12, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Thanks, Cami. I can’t get enough of soup these days! See you Sunday.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kathy
    January 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    oh, I can just imagine this being realllly good! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

    • Reply
      Robyn
      January 16, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Kathy, and thanks for your visit.

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