Saturday, March 2, 2013

{Slow Cooker} Lentil & Black Bean Soup ($0.23 per cup)




$0.23 per cup          93% savings          save $73.50 yearly



Okay, folks time to get back on the super-ultra-mega-healthy track. Technically, it could also be known as the easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy track... or the dirt-cheap track. Take your pick.

This recipe makes me so happy, I could cry.

It's yummy.
It's healthy.
It's cheap.
It's easy.
It's even VEGAN.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to do an experiment with a small bag of dry lentils I found buried in my food storage supply. I haven't eaten very many lentils in my lifetime (a complete and utter shame), but when I have, I've LOVED them! 

Honestly, what's not to love? Lentils have a delicious earthly flavor, and are packed with protein, fiber, and folate. 

I had looked online to find an inspirational recipe containing lentils, and came across this one, but it still wasn't quite what I wanted. However, it served as a starting point. In my mind's eye, I pictured creating a hearty soup packed with lentils, TONS of (hidden-so-the-kids-won't-notice) veggies and absolutely no meat involved.

I raided my fridge and food storage, and came back with the lentils, half of a small bag of dry black beans that looked lonely (you could sub 2 cans of black beans), some carrots, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices, and VOILA!! A perfectly delicious vegan concoction that tastes amazing. It is also great served with multi-grain crackers, a crusty baguette, or over rice, which is how my kids prefer it.

You can choose to pre-soak your lentils and beans. I simply washed and rinsed them with hot water before adding them to my crockpot.

*I need to make it clear that this recipe makes a boat-load. 6 quarts to be exact. So, if you don't have the room in your crockpot, or your freezer for that matter, consider cutting the recipe in half. 

Enjoy!



There it is... all the nutrient-packed goodness that goes into this dish. The onions are not diced, (I call for dicing them in the actual recipe below) but owing to personal preference, next time I will definitely dice them. 




Add the water. It'll be a perfect fit for your 6-quart crockpot. Cover with a lid, let it cook on HIGH for 6 hours. (Yep... 6 hour ons HIGH to get the veggies super soft and mash-able. Mashing up the veggies into oblivion is how I trick my kiddos... What tomatoes?)


Serve yourself a steaming bowl, and pat yourself on the back for treating your body so well.

{Slow Cooker} Lentil & Back Bean Soup
Printable Version

*Makes 6 quarts or 24 (1-cup) servings.

(Note: This recipe makes a TON!! Make sure your slow cooker can hold 6 quarts... otherwise you'll be in a heap of trouble. If it can't hold 6 quarts, try cutting the recipe in half.)

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. bag dry lentils
1/2 small bag dry black beans (or 2 cans black beans)
2 medium onions (finely diced)
4 large carrots (finely chopped)
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic
2 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
10 cups HOT water

1 1/2 Tbsp salt (to taste)*
1 tsp. black pepper (to taste)*

*Added at the end of cooking

DIRECTIONS
Rinse lentils and black beans. Discard any small pebbles or bad beans. Put them in the slow cooker. Add the diced onions, chopped carrots, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, chili powder, parsley, and HOT water to the crockpot. It will be full.

Cover, and cook on HIGH for 6 hours. No peeking, no stirring.

Remove the lid, and add the salt and pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mash the soup into a thicker mixture if desired. Serve hot. This soup is very thick (especially if mashed)... almost like chili, and tastes great by itself, over rice, served with multi-grain crackers, or with cornbread.

Store in the fridge for 1 week, or in the freezer for 4 months.


~ Savings ~


Cost Breakdown:
1 lb. bag dry lentils - $0.98 = $0.98
1 lb. bag black beans - $1.38 = $0.69
3 lb. onions - $2.18 = 8 onions = $0.273/onion = $0.546
2 lb. carrots - $1.48 = 12 carrots = $0.123/carrot = $0.492
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes = $0.68 = $1.36
32 oz. jarred minced garlic - $5.64 = 181 tsp. = $0.025/tsp = $0.15
2 oz. cumin - $3.12 = 22 tsp. = $0.142/tsp = $0.825
9.25 oz. chili powder - $5.64 = 74 tsp. = $0.076/tsp = $0.228
1.2 oz. parsley - $4.24 = 115 tsp = $0.037/tsp = $0.037
26 oz. salt - $0.44 = 122.75 tsp = $0.003/tsp = $0.0135
8 oz. black pepper - $3.84 = 37.75 tsp = $0.102/tsp = $0.102
Total Recipe Cost = $5.46
Cost Per Cup = $0.23

The Contender:
Tasty Bite Madras Lentils (10 oz. pouch - approx. 1 cup) - $3.29

Savings: 
93%

"Over a year" scenario:
Make {Slow Cooker} Lentil & Black Bean Soup 1 time = $5.46
Buy 24 Tasty Bite Madras Lentils (10 oz. pouches) = $78.96

*Money Saved = $73.50




42 comments:

  1. Wow! This sounds delicious! I will make it later this week with my ownlonely bags of black beans and lentils. Thanks for sharing yet another amazing, easy, yummy recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! Please let me know how it goes. I'm always looking for feedback. :)

      Delete
    2. It went very well! The consistency after a light mashing was fantastic. I barely had to mash at all. Flavor good. We use Nu-Salt instead of regular salt to reduce sodium, and it tasted great even with that change. Many bean recipes do not do so well with a salt substitute. My husband thanks you. I thank you. I haven't found a recipe here that hasn't worked! You are awesome!

      Delete
    3. Thank you! You are so kind... I'm blushing. I'm honestly just happy you guys enjoyed it. ;)

      Delete
  2. I am going to try this tomorrow! You have inspired me to rededicate my self to penny pinching! haha. We are trying to eat healthier and cheaper which can be hard at times, but I know it can be done. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!! I just bought coconut oil yesterday to make the tortillas you have on here. I am sure it is not as cheap, but I couldn't get myself to buy the crisco and with oil I just can't get them to not be dry. So, we'll see how it goes and if it will be cost efficient at all :/.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erica, that is awesome! Good luck, and let me know how it goes... especially with the coconut oil. :)

      Delete
    2. I did 1/2 C. Coconut oil and 1/2 C. Canola oil and they worked out great! I like them best warmed up :).

      Delete
    3. Hi Erica. I'm sure you're talking about the TORTILLA recipe, and not this one. :) I'm really glad they turned out for you! Tortillas can be kinda tricky to figure out. Good work!

      Delete
  3. I made this recipe the other day and I absolutely LOVE IT! I added a fair amount of chili powder to the recipe for a little umph. I love how you can use this for so much - over a potato, on rice, all by itself, as a side dish, etc.

    Is there any chance that you might get a twitter account for this site?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm happy you enjoyed it so much. :) As far as the twitter account goes... I've never even looked into twitter. (Does that make me super uncool or what?) So far, I've been keeping my social media outlets to a minimum, just because I don't want this site to turn into a full-time job. It truly is a nap-time hobby... or when my husband has a night shift. I only post on here once or twice a week, but I do try to make the posts meaningful. Who knows what the future holds for Twiitter? We'll have to wait and see... :)

      Delete
  4. I'm gone for a good chunk of the day.. do you think it would have the same effect if I leave it on low for 8-10 hours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kim,

      It would probably work well for 8-10 hours on LOW if you did a half recipe. If you are doing the whole 6 quarts, then plan on closer to 12 hours on LOW. Good luck!

      Delete
  5. Would this taste good with cheese on top? I know it would move it would move it out of the vegan category and add to the cost a little. I am just trying to decide if my kids would go for it. I know cheese makes a big difference in how they will eat chili. Thanks for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mandi.

      To be honest, I have no idea. I've never tried it. My personal opinion is that cheese wouldn't help it, because the flavors are so different... but you could always give it a try. (What do I know, anyway? :)

      On the other hand, maybe your kids would like it with a little shredded cheese, and use tortilla chips to dip into it... takes away some of the healthy aspects, but your kids might like it better, and it's never fun to make a big healthy dish only to have your kids turn up their noses at it.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. I put cheese on almost all tomato-y and cumin-y soups and it helps me a ton! Also most bean soups are good with sour cream mixed in :) (And sour cream and cheddar together?! I can eat a plain bowl of beans if it has that combo!)

      I'm about to get this in my stock pot on the stove right now and can't wait to try it tonight! Thanks for the recipe!

      Delete
  6. I buy my dried beans and lentils in bulk . . . could you give the amount to use of each? (not quite sure the amount in 1/2 a bag etc) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure! It's about 2 1/4 cups of lentils and 1 cup of dry black beans.

      Delete
  7. I tried this recipe tonight. The flavor is really good but my black beans did not cook all the way after almost 8 hours on high. Do you think perhaps I should have added more water? I cut the recipe in half and used my 3 quart slow cooker instead of my 6 quart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I'm surprised! Unless you had no liquid left after 8 hours on high, you still would have had liquid for them to soak up. Black beans do take longer than other beans to cook... but still. I've never not had them done when they've been in the pot for 8 hours on high. Are you sure you added HOT water to the crockpot before you started cooking? That's the only other thing I can think of.

      Delete
  8. I tried this a week or so ago - it's excellent!

    I added cabbage to mine, and didn't mash it at the end. I made rye bread the same day, and it was a great combo. :)

    I just made 1/2 the recipe.

    I will post it on my blog soon with my pictures - thanks again!

    Bonnie
    www.recipeshappen.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Bonnie!
      Adding cabbage sounds delicious... I'm really glad it turned out so well for you, and I'll be sure to check out your blog. :)

      Delete
    2. It's up! :)
      Thanks again. I really like your blog.

      Delete
  9. We're moving in 6 weeks from Poland back to the US (Thank you, US Army!), and I'm trying to use up all the food in my cupboard. I made this recipe last night and enjoyed it. Quite tasty, though not a hit with the kids. They're picky. Unless it's kielbasa or a broccoli, they won't eat. Actually, I threw a few kielbasa in the stew for them. Instead of water, I used homemade chicken stock, as I had it on hand. Thanks so much for the recipe; you've got a new fan here.

    ReplyDelete
  10. If I use canned black beans (that I canned myself from bulk beans!) would I add them at the end or throw them in at the start? Note: I love your recipes; keep 'em coming! Refried beans and pancakes are regulars around our house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like the recipes! As far as the beans go, I'd add them in during the last hour of cooking so that the flavors blend well, but you don't end up with super-mushy beans. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. It turned out heavenly! I'm making it again tomorrow! Also, I made your pizza dough and crust and looooooved them. As did the four other folks in my house. Oh! And the rolls! I've never been able to get rolls to rise so well!
      -Hilary

      Delete
  11. How do you think this would be with black eyed peas instead of black beans? Just trying to think of what I have on hand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question... the truth is, I'm not sure how it would turn out. I've never gone the black-eyed peas route with this, but I bet it would still be tasty. :) Go for it!

      Delete
  12. I have been inspired to give this recipe a try today. I am turning on the slow cooker right now. Wish me luck!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Have you tried freezing this? Hubby and I like to make things in bulk and freeze them for "those nights". Just wondering if this would freeze and reheat well.

    I still plan on making it, just wanted to know before I make a large pot. Since it is just him and I. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sorry! I just read the last line. "Store in freezer for up to 4 months" Ignore that last post.

    ReplyDelete
  15. How would it turn out if I pre soaked the black beans? Would I need to change the amount of hot water added? Or anything else. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiffany,
      I'm sorry I've been slow to reply! (New baby = household craziness.) It would change the amount of water you needed... I'd start with 7 cups of water and add more if needed.

      Delete
    2. Thanks. I'll be making this in the next few days, I just wanted to make sure. I'm not the best cook so I like to have as much info as possible. And congrats on the new baby!

      Delete
  16. Delicious! This was the first recipe I used to break in my new slow cooker, and it came out wonderfully. Consider using 1 1/2 Tbsp of creole seasoning instead of salt - it adds plenty of saltiness, but a bit of kick as well. Delicious, and it freezes perfectly; my frozen portions of soup tasted and felt no different than the fresh ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooo... the creole seasoning sounds intriguing. :) Thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  17. Do you know approximately how many cups of carrots the 4 carrots equates to? I'm working with baby carrots because it's what I have on hand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never measured it that way before, but... 1.5 cups maybe? Hope this helps!

      Delete
    2. Sorry, I'm a pain today. Do you know what the 2tbsp jarred minced garlic would equate to in cloves of fresh garlic?

      Delete
    3. You're not a pain at all! It would be 10-12 cloves... A bunch! :)

      Delete
  18. Had to sit on my daughter to get her to try it and then I had to sit on her to keep her out of the pot after her second bowl. Added a small dash of bacon flavored salt to each bowl and it was FANTASTIC.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Looks delicious! I will be trying out the recipe!
    Maria@
    www.musicteachingandparenting.com

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...