On a cold and rainy day like today in New York, there’s nothing that makes me feel quite as cozy as a really great soup. I’ve made many soups in the past but this is by far one of my favorites and healthiest. It’s amazing how the combination of lentils and beans makes this a perfect hearty, comforting meal. Plus, it’s packed full of protein. You really can’t go wrong here.

Pink Lentil & Chunky Bean Soup

I actually made this soup last week and will be having my second helping of it today. The combination of spices that I used was absolutely inspired-on-a-whim but I think that everything tasted great together. I served it to my friend Jesse, who loved the soup and even had seconds.

Today I’ll be having it again for lunch and I cannot wait. One of the main reasons that I love making soup is that it freezes easily, so I can have many more helpings of it in the future. And this soup makes so much that I ended up with 8 servings. But the best part was that, as part of Project: Food Budget, this soup was also really, really cheap. Take a look at my totals:

Project: Food Budget

My ingredients were: 1/2 bag of pink lentils ($1.14), 1 can cannellini beans ($1.39), 1 can garbanzo beans ($1.19), 1/3 bag of frozen pearl onions ($0.99), 1 box of frozen mixed vegetables ($0.99), 1 large can of diced tomatoes ($2.69), garlic ($0.29) and 1/16th of Better than Bouillon vegetable base ($0.37). That’s only $1.13 per serving. I love  my new super-cheap and very healthy soup.

Chunky Pink Lentil & Bean Soup

The most exciting thing about this soup, however, isn’t just that it’s healthy and cheap, but it’s the fact that this is my first time having pink lentils. And I’ll tell you right now: they’re amazing.

The way I came across them is a funny story: my friend Jenna was clearing out her cupboards after switching to the Paleo diet and I ended up inheriting a bunch of her old beans and grains. I’ve already made a couple other dishes with her discarded goodies (like my slow cooker chickpea curry, mushroom and pearl onion quinoa and slow cooker vegetarian stuffed peppers) and enjoyed them all. Sadly this is probably one of my last. Though, luckily enough, she also gave me a ton of her gluten free flours and I’m planning to start making some desserts soon.

In the meantime please enjoy this delicious, cheap and healthy soup. I know I will!

Chunky Pink Lentil & Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Pink Lentil & Bean Soup
Yield: 8 servings; Prep: 10 minutes; Slow Cook: 6 hours on High 

A great source of protein, this chunky soup is hearty enough for a complete meal at dinnertime or can be frozen for a delicious lunch later on. Plus the combination of seasonings makes this soup taste like the perfect warm, comforting meal in the wintertime. Serve with a piece of toast for added crunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried pink lentils (no need to pre-soak)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1 (10 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried celery seed
  • 2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 teaspoons Better than Bouillon vegetable base
Instructions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large slow cooker pot (I recommend using a 5 or 6 quart size).
  2. Mix all of your ingredients together, then set your slow cooker for 6 hours on high.
  3. When it’s done, simply open the cover, mix it all together again and serve.

Interested in more from Project: Food Budget? Check out what my friends are up to:

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie January 13, 2012 at 5:18 am

yummm need to make that one soon!!

Reply

Irina Gonzalez January 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

YAY! Let me know how it goes.

Reply

Emily January 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Looking good! And that soups looks delish. :)

Reply

Irina Gonzalez January 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

Thanks! It really was and MAN do I have a ton of leftovers!

Reply

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