Save some money with economical, healthy and delicious soups (before the warm weather gets here!). Soups are usually inexpensive hearty meals that can be simmered all day in a crock pot, and served with side dishes like corn bread, carrot sticks, crackers, sourdough rolls, etc.
One of our families' favorites is a Cuban Black Bean soup (the hubby is Cuban....so you know who is the chef on this soup entree!). Since we are a vegetarian family, we make this soup without any added meat ingredients, but I do know another version of this black bean soup can be made adding ham.
Black Bean soup is low in fat and is a good source of protein, iron, and vitamin C.
Our Black Bean (Veggie) Soup
1 1/3 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp each dried oregano and thyme
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cans (about 15 oz each) black beans, rinsed
2 cans (14 oz each) vegetable (or chicken broth) if you prefer
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Mix olive oil, onions, garlic, jalapeño pepper, cumin, oregano, thyme and pepper in a 4 1/2-qt or larger slow-cooker. Add beans and broth. Cover and cook on low about 6-7 hours. Stir in lemon juice.
Garnishes: try Greek yogurt,sour cream, or some grated cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese. Warm corn or flour tortillas served on the side go well with this soup.
Photo: John Uhe