With breakfast done and dusted we need to start thinking about what we can do for lunches. With a limited budget of £5 a week (£20 a month) we decided to make a few soups. Soups can go a long way with a few ingredients. If you make soup in big batches, you can freeze the remaining portions for later on in the month.
Here's the first recipe...
This recipe makes enough for 8 servings. Its made with a lot of vegetables and lentils to bulk it out. Its a thick warming soup with a hint of chilli.
prep time around 15 mins
cooking time around 50 mins
You will need a blender or food processor to liquidize the soup after cooking.
Tomato and Red Lentil Soup
|make sure you have a big pot!|
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Onions - finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
A pinch of chilli flakes
4 carrots finely chopped
450g red lentils
3 x tins of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1.4 litres hot vegetable stock
salt and black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan*, add the onions, and cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic, a pinch of chilli flakes and the carrots and stir. Season with some salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the lentils, stir in, then add the tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a very low heat for 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Make sure its a low heat and stir occasionally or else it may burn on the bottom of the pan!
Transfer to the blender and whiz up until blended and smooth. Taste and season if needed.
To serve transfer into a pan and heat until piping hot.
You can add a dash of cream if you have any, or a pinch of coriander is nice too. But this is not essential.
*If you don't have a large saucepan, then you can either half the recipe or split it in to two saucepans and then add them back together at the end.
We did the majority of the shop at Lidl. The remaining items we bought from Tesco.
Bag of onions 1kg (approx 8 onions) 63p
Bag of carrots 1 kg (approx 10 carrots) 75p
Red Lentils 500g bag 95p
Chopped tomatoes 31p
Crushed chillies 95p
Value vegetable stock cubes 30p
I have assumed that people have the basics like olive oil, and salt and pepper in the kitchen already. However the cheapest olive oil i've seen so far is £3.48 for 1l at ASDA that works out about 35p per 100 ml.
So this meal should cost you around £2.56 for 8 servings.
For the lunch budget we suggested £5 a week (£20 a month) this works out around 66p per serving/meal.
This soup is coming in around 32p per serving, just under half the proposed budget!
I might see if I can make some more soups around this price range, and then we can put the remaining budget to good use somewhere else, like in the dinner menu.
If you got some ideas what you could add to this recipe just drop us a comment.
Dinner budget to follow...