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.
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!
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.
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.)
- 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)
- 1 cup gemelli pasta
- 1 cup shredded cooked turkey
- 1 16 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 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.
- Add other ingredients as desired and simmer for another 30 minutes.
- You may need to add additional liquid. I used a total of 8 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water.