My husband was talking one day about the amazing vegetable soup his grandmother used to make. His cousin, Stephanie, just happened to have the recipe, so I decided to give it a try. Of course, I tweaked a couple of small things and made it my own, but it turned out really delicious. (skip right to the recipe). Then, I realized how inexpensive it was to make and realized it would be the perfect thing to share with my readers on this chilly fall day, when all you want is a warm bowl of homemade soup to warm you up.
Anyone from a big family knows that soup is best made in big batches. My husband has a large family, and my mother was one of ten children. Since I can’t seem to make soup in small batches, this recipe will feed about 10 people. However, you can certainly expand that to feed more or reduce it to feed less. I like to just cook it big and eat it for several meals or freeze the leftovers for another day.
One of the keys to saving money and living a more frugal life is using inexpensive ingredients that go a long way. If you have vegetables left in your garden, you can certainly use those here. Let’s say you have to buy everything, though. Here is an approximate cost breakdown:
- 1 small head cabbage – 1.00 (may be able to get this even cheaper)
- 4 medium to large potatoes – 1.00 (I buy a big bag and use in other recipes)
- Ham cubes – Use leftovers if at all possible. I freeze them and use them later. If you don’t have ham, you can use chicken or beef or nothing at all.
- 1 small onion – .50
- 1 large bag frozen mixed vegetables – 2.00 (I actually used 2 small bags, because they were on sale for .84 each.
- 1 can diced tomatoes – 1.00 or less
- 1 can tomato sauce – 1.00 or less
- 1 can tomato paste – 1.00 or less
My total cost if I’d had to buy everything at full price would have been 7.50 for soup that would easily serve 10 people or give me 10 servings or more. A lot will depend upon if you have big eaters in your house. My husband is a big eater, so the soup doesn’t go as far as it might if you have lighter eaters. So, about .75 per serving for this soup. That is a very inexpensive meal. Even if you add a salad or crusty rolls or crackers, this is still a super inexpensive meal.
- 4 large potatoes diced
- 1/2 head of cabbage shredded
- 6 cups water
- 1 large bag frozen mixed vegetables or 2 small bags
- 1 cup of diced leftover ham can sub chicken or beef or leave out
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
Add 6 cups of water to a large stew pot.
Add diced potatoes and shredded cabbage and cook for 15 minutes.
Add salt and pepper, stir.
Mix in remaining ingredients and simmer on low a minimum of 2 hours. Tastes best the next day, so if you can cook ahead this soup will really impress.
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