Friday, August 22, 2008

Frugal Fridays - Soup, Bread, and Dessert

Our menu this evening consists of a deliciously flavorful Garden Fresh Lentil Soup, served with French Bread. Dessert is Peanut Pistachio Pudding and Crackers.

Since this post is being submitted to Frugal Fridays, here is the price breakdown:

Lentils - 1/2 lb. - $0.35
Bacon - 1/2 lb. - $0.50
Flour - 4 cups - $0.45
Yeast - 2 1/4 tsp. - $0.17
Graham crackers - 1 sleeve - $0.40
Peanut butter - 1/4 cup - $0.20
Milk - 1 cup - $0.27
Pudding - 3.4-oz box - $0.75

Squash and tomatoes - free from parents' garden
Chicken broth - free from boiling chicken
Seasonings and simple pantry staples - negligible price

Total price: $3.09

Garden Fresh Lentil Soup

1/2 lb. lentils
1/2 lb. bacon
1 large yellow squash
1/4 cup onion
2 large tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Cover lentils with water (about 3 or 4 cups). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until tender.

While the lentils are simmering, cook bacon over medium heat until it reaches desired crispiness. Remove bacon from skillet (leave drippings in skillet) and set aside. Chop squash and saute in bacon drippings. Remove from pan and set aside. Chop onion and saute in remaining bacon drippings. Set aside. Chop tomatoes.

Check on lentils. When they are tender, add chicken broth (my lentils had cooked off all the water. If there is water left when the lentils are done, drain it off before adding broth). Stir in vegetables and seasonings. Heat through. Garnish with bacon and serve.

The great thing about the end of summer is all the fresh garden produce available. Use what is growing, and you can eat delicious and nutritious foods, like this soup, for incredibly cheap.

I only included bacon in this recipe because it was a manager's special and we got it for a dollar per pound. Normally we don't have bacon. This soup is delicious without it, but incredible with it!

Bread Machine French Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp. yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer. If your machine has a setting for French Bread, select that. Otherwise, set it for basic. Once the machine is set, forget about it until it beeps at you to tell you it's done!

Peanut Pistachio Pudding and Crackers

Approximately 1 sleeve graham crackers
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 3.4-oz box instant pistachio pudding mix

Place graham crackers along bottom of 8- or 9-inch pan, breaking crackers as needed to cover the pan. I did two layers of crackers. Next time I might do one layer, then the pudding layer, then a second cracker layer on top. Either way. Set aside.

Place peanut butter in mixing bowl. Add milk and whisk until combined. Add pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes. Spread on top of graham crackers. Chill for a couple hours, then cut into squares and serve.

The dessert isn't much to look at. I originally planned on using chocolate or vanilla pudding, but when I checked the cupboard this evening all we had was pistachio. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but gave it a try anyway. It turned out delicious.


~Priscilla~ said...

hi stephanie! you are the winner on my blog...congrats!

Michelle said...

I should sit down someday and figure up how much meals cost. You beat me hands down anyway...

That soup looks really good! I'm all over french bread, and pistachio is my favorite pudding! Mark doesn't like it, so I don't get it often. *sniff*

Jenny said...

Both recipes look so tasty. I've been wanting to make soup lately and it's still so hot. I'll eat it all year round!